Chapter 2 Impactful knowledge creation
Building a responsible and interdisciplinary hub
Reading time: 2 minutes
Creating impact: how RSM research interacts with the world
Watch Professor Pursey Heugens, RSM’s Dean of Research discuss impact with Danielle Baan, RSM’s science communications and media officer.
Pursey explains how research plays a key role in all of RSM’s activities; he says it forms the basis of everything we do. It’s important inside and outside of our classrooms because it’s about interacting with our stakeholders and generating impact.
We frequently involve stakeholders from the beginning of the research process when we start scoping the project and raising the questions to be answered. During the research process stakeholders have a role as participant – and providing the context for our research – and at the end of the research process they are important for valorisation.
Collaborations with companies logically evolve from the research topic; some research begins as a one-to-one co-operation. But sometimes companies contact RSM suggesting collaborations, or during the process of our research we find we need to work with particular companies. Long term partnerships are essential because research is a lengthy process that can easily take three or four years to complete, Pursey concludes.
Pursey picks two of his favourite examples of RSM research that really illustrate impact beyond the usual: expanding research into humanitarian logistics that delivers medical aid and services, and RSM’s efforts in sustainable finance, bring sustainability into the heart of what makes a company thrive – its finance.
RSM’s impactful research is facilitated by scholars with specific interests in a particular topic who are grouped into Centres. Within Centres, academics practise a high level of interaction with societal stakeholders to exchange thinking and formulate new solutions. Pursey picks two examples; the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics pools the knowledge of several academic departments to focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning and the skills that will be needed by people and organisations in the next stage of their digital awareness, and the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship – not only does this Centre study entrepreneurs, but it also hosts entrepreneurs and facilitates their learning in new skills so they can grow their businesses.
Research is at the heart of RSM. It’s at the heart of all our activities and provides the evidence that is the proof of all the impact and engagement activities at RSM. With new developments such as Open Science, the relationship between impact and engagement will be even stronger: more stakeholders will get a say in a transparent research process, and research will be more aligned with societal expectations. The quest for Open Science and more transparency in the scientific process, as well as more engagement from societal stakeholders, will go hand-in-hand and will be mutually reinforcing in the years to come.