How universities influence societal impact practices: Academics’ sense-making of organizational impact strategies

Stefan P L de Jong*, Corina Balaban

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Societal impact of academic research has become a central concern of contemporary science policies. As key players in the higher education sector, universities play a crucial role in translating policy into organizational strategies, which then have the potential to shape academics' practices. This article investigates the influence that universities may have on academics' impact practices. We employ an analytical framework that combines a novel method for studying university impact strategies, sense-making theory, and insights from literature on impact. Our data consist of interviews with sixteen philosophers and anthropologists working across four universities in the Netherlands and the UK. We find that, in response to organizational goals and Human Resource Management policies, academics report changing their impact practices. We call for universities to use their influence responsibly in order to enable a broad range of impact practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-620
JournalScience and Public Policy
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • IDENTIFICATION
  • KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
  • PERFORMANCE
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • PRODUCTIVE INTERACTIONS
  • RESEARCH EXCELLENCE FRAMEWORK
  • RESEARCHERS
  • SCIENCES
  • SENSEMAKING
  • TECHNOLOGY-TRANSFER OFFICES
  • impact practices
  • organizational strategy
  • sense-making theory
  • social sciences and humanities
  • societal impact

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