Authors: 28 founding members of the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management. The list of authors is integrated in the position paper.
This position paper presents a vision of a future in which business schools and scholars worldwide have successfully transformed their research toward responsible science,3 producing useful and credible knowledge that addresses problems important to business and society. This vision is based on the belief that business can be a means for a better world if it is informed by responsible research. The paper begins with a set of principles to support responsible research and proposes actions by different stakeholders to help realize this vision. It explains the impetus for the proposal by describing the current business research ecosystem, which encourages research oriented toward scholarly impact much more than societal relevance. Changing the incentives and culture around publications are essential to promoting responsible research. Research is the foundation of business education and practice, yet business research has failed to live up to its promise in promoting better policies and best practices. If nothing is done, business research will lose its legitimacy at best; at worst, it will waste money, talent, and opportunity. This paper ends with a call to action for directing research toward achieving humanity’s highest aspirations. The paper invites discussion and debate on the prospect of creating a responsible research ecosystem to realize this future vision when business and management research has become a force for change toward a better world.
The Position Paper starts us on a journey toward a substantive rethinking of business research and, more broadly, about its scientific and social role in society. Our audience goes beyond the higher education community, and we invite broad participation in this discussion.