Assessing the Societal Impact of Research: The Relational Engagement Approach

Ozanne, Julie L.; Davis, Brennan; Murray, Jeff B.; Grier, Sonya; Benmecheddal, Ahmed; Downey, Hilary; Ekpo, Akon E.; Garnier, Marion; Hietanen, Joel; Le Gall-Ely, Marine; Seregina, Anastasia; Thomas, Kevin D. and Veer, Ekant. 2017. Assessing the Societal Impact of Research: The Relational Engagement Approach. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 36(1), pp. 1-14. ISSN 0743-9156 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Marketing and policy researchers aiming 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. The authors propose that a relational engagement approach to research impact complements and builds on 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 recommend 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 cocreation of research with audiences beyond academia. The authors hope to begin a dialogue on the strategies researchers can use to increase the potential societal benefits of their research.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


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

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


1 February 2017Accepted
1 April 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2019 09:21

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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