The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy ‘Building a Britain fit for the Future’ (2017) places an increased emphasis on the academic community to produce research that has impact in the form of societal and economic contribution. This impact can be achieved in many ways, for example, by creating and sharing new knowledge that results in the type of innovation that leads to market growth, improved corporate performance, jobs, new products and services.
My British Academy funded research into chronic corporate under performance has yielded some interesting findings, based on a unique methodological approach that draws on research from the field of epigenetics. I recently presented the findings to the Global Crisis Team at Edelman, a world leading consultancy for crisis management. As a result, we are now developing a number of workshops for their international senior executives.
A key factor in delivering research impact is to develop relationships and networks (1) with professional practitioners and to disseminate research in a user-friendly way. In this case, a short paper entitled “Culture also eats innovation for breakfast!” was published in Strategic Direction (2). This is a zero star rated journal that has an international readership of management consultants and business people which enabled Edelman to understand the idea in a non-academic way.
BUs Academic Career Framework informs staff that they should be disseminating professional practice outputs – and yet not many do. So, if you want to start on the road toward research impact, then think about the professional outlets that can help you disseminate your research and build a professional practice network.
1. Oliver, J.J. (2017). Developing a distinctive digital profile and network. In: Kurcirkova, N., and Quinlan,O. (eds). The Digitally Agile Researcher, Open University Press, Chapter 8, pp.80-87
2. Oliver, J.J. (2019). Culture also eats innovation for breakfast! Strategic Direction, Vol. 35 No. 12, pp. 1-3.