Management Research that Makes a Difference: Broadening the Meaning of Impact

Christopher Wickert, Corinne Post, Jonathan Doh, John Prescott, Andrea Prencipe

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The world is undergoing dramatic transformations. Many of the grand societal challenges we currently face underscore the need for scholarly research – including management studies – that can help us best sort out and solve them. Yet, management scholars struggle to produce concrete solutions or to communicate how their research can help to tackle these grand societal challenges. With this editorial, we want to help scholars seeking to ‘make a difference’ by broadening our understanding of what constitutes impactful research. We examine five forms of impact – scholarly, practical, societal, policy, and educational – outlining how scholars can systematically extend or enlarge their research agenda or projects to amplify their impact on the challenges societies face. We suggest that each of these forms of impact has intrinsic value in advancing the scientific enterprise and, together, can help to address key societal problems that reach beyond the immediate and traditional context of business management. With concrete suggestions for getting started on these forms of impact, and possible outputs for each, we hope to stimulate management and organization scholars to think more broadly about the opportunities for making an impact with their research and to begin doing so more often.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-320
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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