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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2018

Emad Yaghmaei

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is taking a role in assisting all types of stakeholders, including industry members, in moving their research and innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is taking a role in assisting all types of stakeholders, including industry members, in moving their research and innovation (R&I) initiatives to tackle grand challenges. The literature on RRI, however, focuses little on how industry can implement RRI principles. To solve this gap, the purpose of this study is to construct a conceptual framework for managing and assessing RRI principles in the industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research was used to build the RRI key performance indicator list; 30 interviews were conducted to design a framework which was pilot tested in a company to identify how to align technology outcomes to the values, needs and expectations of the society.

Findings

This study depicts five successive RRI implementation levels and exhibits RRI key performance indicators. Drawing on extant models, this study develops RRI levels and indicators to discuss why industry should become engaged in RRI, how it can embed RRI principles into R&I processes and how RRI indicators can be managed systematically.

Originality/value

The connection between RRI key performance indicators and RRI levels determines how industry can integrate principles and methodologies of RRI into R&I processes. The model in the study shows how companies move from one RRI stage to another and this study aims to exhibit an ideal stage of RRI for industry.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Job Timmermans, Emad Yaghmaei, Bernd Carsten Stahl and Alexander Brem

The purpose of this paper is to explore how relationships between different actors are being shaped to allow industry to come to acceptable and desirable uses of research…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how relationships between different actors are being shaped to allow industry to come to acceptable and desirable uses of research and innovation (R&I) that address societal challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on existing notions of responsibility proposed in the literature, the paper develops a theoretical account of “networks of responsibility” which capture the interlinked nature of responsibility relationships. The usefulness of the approach is evaluated by exploring two cases of R&I in industry deploying a qualitative research approach that involves interviewing and document analysis. For this, a multinational company from Germany was involved, as well as a small- and medium-sized company from Denmark.

Findings

The study surfaced 68 responsibility relationships involving a range of different objects, subjects, authorities and norms. By describing overlaps in objects, subjects and other aspects across relationships, the theoretical model proved adequate in untangling and displaying interrelatedness of responsibilities. Furthermore, the analysis surfaced characteristics of responsible research and innovation (RRI) that are already in place in the R&I processes of two innovative companies, such as anticipation, foresight and stakeholder engagement. Not all aspects of responsibility outlined in the theoretical model could be extracted from the interview data for every responsibility relationship, pointing to the need for further research.

Practical implications

The paper is practically relevant because it supports policy development on an organisational, as well as societal level. Moreover, the networks of responsibility model offer a fine-grained assessment of responsibilities in R&I practice by mapping existing responsibilities which supports translating RRI principles into everyday organisational practices.

Social implications

RRI sets an ambitious agenda to ensure a more social and ethical R&I. Much work is still needed to bridge the gap between these theoretical and political aspirations and daily R&I practice, especially in non-academic contexts such as industry. By offering a way to understand and untangle the complexity of responsibility relationships, the networks of responsibility model seem to offer a promising approach that can support this endeavour.

Originality/value

The paper offers a novel theoretical approach to understanding and analysing responsibility allocations in R&I in industry. It demonstrates the reliability of this theoretical position empirically. It is practically important because it supports policy development on an organisational as well as societal level.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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