RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, vol. 58, n. 3, May-June 2018


[Translated version]

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-759020180301




Institutions and researchers are increasingly participating in the debate on turning research in business administration into a responsible science. For example, Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM) is supported by organizations such as The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), and the United Nations (UN), and business schools such as Esade, Erasmus, St. Gallen, Carlson School of Management, and Aalto University. Furthermore, several Academy of Management board professors are involved in the RRBM network. Some principles of RRBM are as follows: “serving society; integrating different stakeholders in the research process; valuing research that contributes to a better world, both basic and applied research, plurality and multidisciplinarity, and both qualitative and quantitative methodologies; and promoting the dissemination of knowledge” (RRBM Network, 2018). In most cases, stakeholder engagement comes down to immediate issues of economic feasibility without considering the other issues involved (Davison, 2017).


Engagement and social impact have also become goals of business schools and journals. Engagement, for example, has been a principle of the Management Learning journal (Bell & Bridgman, 2017), as well as of PRME, which support highly critical discussions in business administration education. Engagement also comprises the relationship between managerial theories and practices and between teaching and research (Bell & Bridgman, 2017), as well as a critical distance from the forced standardization in the search for better positioning in the publication rankings (Mingers & Wilmott, 2013). However, as the editors of Management Learning journal acknowledge, it is almost impossible to disregard the metrics that indicate the importance of journals and academic careers. Research professors, specialized journals, and educational institutions need to not only criticize but also participate in the evaluation processes. In any case, metrics on social impact are increasingly considered in the evaluation of business schools, as shown by some EFMD guidelines (2018). Another report on the social impact of academic research conducted by the Impact on Practice group of the Academy of Management journal shows that practical impacts and government policies need to be considered in addition to the four major indicators of academic impact: publication in top academic journals, citations, books, and access to research funding. The study also points out that research conducted by interdisciplinary groups is more likely to have a significant impact, including in top journals. However, it is necessary to review the lists and rankings of journals that, even though used as indicators of merit in research, do not always have an impact (Haley, Page, Pitsis, Rivas, & Yu, 2017).


EFMD is directed toward engagement and social impact, although the actions associated with these words are difficult to measure (Lima & Wood, 2014). The authors state that in Brazil, despite the increasing number of graduate programs, the development of business administration science, even though highly desirable for the benefit of the society, is still insignificant (Lima & Wood, 2014). Wood, Costa, Lima, and Guimarães (2016) argue that business schools could (and should) seek greater visibility, whether by the training of PhD candidates, presence in the media or in the H-index, considering that these three factors are social impact indicators. But we also could question if these factors contemplate the meaning of engagement and responsible science. The good news is that the subject—despite using different denominations—is increasingly present in the debate on the role of research, teaching, and all activities in business schools. 


This issue is entirely dedicated to “The business of eating: Entrepreneurship and cultural politics” forum, organized by Marina Heck (FGV EAESP), Jeffrey Pilcher (University of Toronto), Krishnendu Ray (New York University), and Eliane Brito (FGV EAESP). The Perspectives section presents the texts “Global junk: Who is to blame for the obesity epidemic?”, by Richard Wilk, and “Obesity must be treated as a public health issue”, by Ana Paula Bortoletto Martins,. The edition ends with a review of “A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet” by Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore, written by Krishnendu Ray, and the book recommendations “Food, the city, and the street” by Noah Allison and “Comprehending Brazilian culture through its diverse culinary” by Adriana Schneider Dallolio. The topic presented in the forum, of global interest, is here addressed in a multidisciplinary way. We hope it can contribute to responsible science and a better world.


Maria José Tonelli | ORCID: 0000-0002-6585-1493

Felipe Zambaldi | ORCID: 0000-0002-5378-6444

Fundação Getulio Vargas, Escola de Administração de

Empresas de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil





Bell, E., & Bridgman, T. (2017). Why management learning matters. Management Learning, 48(1), 3-6. doi:10.1177/1350507616679058


Davison, R. M. (2017). Editorial: Researchers and the stakeholder’s perspective. Information System Journal, 28(1), 1-5. doi: 10.1111/isj.12170


European Foundation for Management Development. (2018) Business School Impact System (BSIS). Recuperado de http://www.efmdglobal.org/bsis


Lima, G. de M. R., & Wood Jr., T. (2014) The social impact of research in Business and Public Administration. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 54(4), 458-463. doi:10.1590/S0034-759020140410


Mingers, J., & Wilmott, H. (2013). Taylorizing business school research: On the ‘one best way’ performative effects of journal ranking lists. Human Relations, 66(8), 1051-1073. doi:10.1177/0018726712467048


Responsible Research in Business and Management Network. (2018). Principles of Responsible Science. Recuperado de https://www.rrbm.network/position-paper/principles-of-responsible-science/


Haley, U. C. V., (Product Champion), Page, M. C., Pitsis, T. S., Rivas, J. L., & Yu, K. F. (2017). Measuring and achieving scholarly impact. Recuperado do Academy of Management website: http://aom.org/uploadedFiles/About_AOM/StrategicPlan/AOMScholarlyImpactReport.pdf


Wood Jr., T., Costa, C. C. M., Lima, G. de M. R., & Guimarães, R. C. (2016). Impacto social: Estudo sobre programas brasileiros selecionados de pós-graduação em Administração de Empresas. RAC-Revista de Administração Contemporânea, 20(1), 21-40. doi:10.1590/1982-7849rac20161842


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