Assessing the Societal Impact of Research: The Relational Engagement Approach

Julie L. Ozanne, Brennan Davis, Jeff B. Murray, Sonya Grier, Ahmed Benmecheddal, Hilary Downey, Akon E. Ekpo, Marion Garnier, Joel Hietanen, Marine Le Gall-Ely, Anastasia Seregina, Kevin D. Thomas, Ekant Veer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
1030 Downloads (Pure)


Marketing and policy researchers seeking to increase the societal impact of their scholarship should engage directly with relevant stakeholders. For maximum societal effect, this engagement needs to occur both within the research process and throughout the complex process of knowledge transfer. A relational engagement approach to research impact is proposed as complementary and building upon traditional approaches. Traditional approaches to impact employ bibliometric measures and focus on the creation and use of journal articles by scholarly audiences, an important but incomplete part of the academic process. The authors suggest expanding the strategies and measures of impact to include process assessments for specific stakeholders across the entire course of impact: from the creation, awareness, and use of knowledge to societal impact. This relational engagement approach involves the co-creation of research with audiences beyond academia. The authors hope to begin a dialogue on the strategies researchers can make to increase the potential societal benefits of their research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2017


  • research impact, relational engagement, transformative consumer research, societal benefit, impact assessment


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