The Research Impact Agenda

This book contributes to the growing body of work addressing the processes and consequences of national governments’ audits of the performance of higher education institutions (HEIs) in different countries. The book discusses one recent area of focus within these audits, namely the measurement of universities’ societal and economic impact.

The Research Impact Agenda offers a problematisation of the research impact agenda, especially in relation to the impact generated by academics based in schools of business and management. It scrutinises the often unintended but nevertheless significant consequences of this agenda for individuals and higher education institutions, such as the reproduction of existing inequalities in academia and the crowding out of other key activities of business schools. It puts forward a range of recommendations for researchers, policymakers, university and business school leaders, and individual academics.

The book will be of interest to a wide range of readers – regardless of their formal position, organisational affiliation or career stage – who consider it important to reduce and remove inequalities and inequities within the HE sector and to make universities and business schools more inclusive. The readers will benefit from the opportunity to engage in reflection aimed at transforming the current framing, delivery and assessment of business and management research impact.


"This book takes a critical view of the whole process of defining and measuring impact and problematises some of the key issues associated with it. It offers insights and questions as to how impact affects institutions and organisations and helps to shape an understanding of how impact might be conceptualised in its broadest sense." Lisa AndersonProfessor of Management Development, University of Liverpool, UK

‘Much is talked about the need for business schools to provide impactful research, but there remains much unclarity as to what this is about. Sliwa and Kellard provide a concise, thoughtful, yet comprehensive, account that does much to clarify what impact is all about, the intended and unintended consequences of pursuing impact, and promote a more inclusive impact agenda. This work is historically and contextually rooted, and is theoretically insightful. There is little doubt that this will be a standard reference work in this important area.’ Geoffrey WoodDancap Private Equity Chair in Change and Innovation, University of Western Ontario, Canada

"An important and timely addition to the [critical] discussions of research impact, this book is provides a unique and imperative focus on inequality. In exploring the (un)intended consequences of impact, Śliwa and Kellard bring to the fore a crucial, progressive debate not only about the societal role of impact, but also how its rhetoric can become more inclusive. Providing recommendations for a range of business school stakeholders, this is set to be a go-to text for those interested in promoting and practicing inclusive research impact." Emily Yarrow, Senior Lecturer in Management and Organisations, Newcastle University, UK