Toward a sustainability assessment framework of research impacts: Contributions of a business school

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Business schools have the potential to become an important driver for sustainable development (SD) by broadening their research assessments beyond scientific performance. Assessment frameworks that expand the scope from academic performance to actual contributions to SD can support business schools in this regard. This article addresses the current lack of pluralistic conceptualizations of research impacts and aims to propose an assessment framework and indicators for business school research impacts on SD. It thus investigates the contributions of business school research to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through an explorative case analysis of Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna) and grounded theory's constant comparative method. In doing so, it adds value to the discussion about the societal relevance of business schools and pluralistic assessments of their research impacts. The findings illustrate that business school research impacts the economy, policy making, and education by fostering organizational and systemic change and contributes to overcoming societal and environmental challenges. The proposed framework contributes to shifting the focus of research impact assessment of business schools toward SD. It shows that business schools must holistically recognize their impacts by considering key SD impact areas, impact scope and pathways, and their actual contributions to the SDGs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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