We want to have an impact!

As scholars, we want to have an impact on the world. Based on the newly published paper „Practicing Impact and Impacting Practice? Creating Impact through Practice-Based Scholarship“, a curated debate on impact by ERLab affiliates Yanis Hamdali and Lorenzo Skade, together with five senior scholars, they explore the question of what impactful research can be and how scholars influence the manifold and controversial concepts of impact through our practice.

In a nutshell, the paper suggests different ways of practicing impact and impacting practice in a dialog between Davide Nicolini, Juliane Reinecke, Paula Jarzabkowski, Eero Vaara, and Charlene Zietsma, together with Yanis Hamdali and Lorenzo Skade. The contributors highlight different foci and diverse ways of impactful scholarly engagement — policymaking, public, teaching, or academic — which all aim to evoke impactful results.

These two impact dimensions are thereby distinct yet interrelated, as the contributions show. While practicing impact emphasizes how scholars can be impactful through engaging in different elements of scholarly work, impacting practice accentuates the immediate impact that scholars can have on management practice. Both dimensions are, thus, interrelated and mutually stimulating parts of impactful scholarship. Along both these dimensions, the authors urge scholars to take agency in defining and measuring impact and (re-)regain control in the impact narrative, as the figure below shows.

There is still this stereotype of the scholar sitting in his books with no contact to "the real world"

The publication is open-access and available to everyone free of charge. If you would like to dive deeper into the dialog, please find it here: 

Impact at the ERLab?

The ERLab aims to create impact by finding a way to process existing and emerging research results in such a way that they still meet scientific standards, but at the same time can be used as a toolbox for practical application. Teaching and learning formats are created that are refined in feedback loops with the „end users“ and also take into account the current state of the art and entrepreneurial procedures. Our focus is on practice-based scholarship and we therefore assume that theory and practice always go hand in hand. We have introduced measurable elements for the sake of simplicity and for presentation to our funding bodies and are working towards being able to „showcase“ something that also meets the requirements of the funding. We hope that our results will also stimulate reflection in our research location of Heilbronn and, in the best case, contribute to a significant improvement in the ecosystem.