Research Academics as Change Makers - Opportunities and Barriers

Reports on a Middlesex panel discussion on creating external research impact

On 25 June 2021, the Business Ethics, CSR and Governance Research Cluster, based at Middlesex University Business School, organised a panel discussion event that focused on the opportunities and barriers of academics making a real difference with their research for individuals, organisations and wider society.

Chaired by Dr Siân Stephens, the panel featured four presentations from Middlesex University researchers who are engaged in research designed to make a real life impact.

Dr Andrea Werner, Associate Professor (Business Ethics), reflected on her research on the voluntary Living Wage, and her journey of creating a REF impact case study based on her research.

Dr Sepideh Parsa, Associate Professor (Accounting), presented her ongoing work on labour rights reporting and what needs to be done to enable true accountability and social justice in global value chains.

Richard Scarlett, Procurement Development Manager at John Lewis Partnership and DProf candidate at Middlesex University, shared insights from his research that seeks to achieve behavioural change towards sustainability in procurement professionals.

Dr Tim Freeman, Associate Professor (Leadership) presented his joint work with Dr Lilian Miles (Westminster University), Associate Professor (Sustainability and Social Enterprise), which focuses on the Sexual and Reproductive Health of women migrant workers, highlighting in particular the need to create good and long-lasting relationships with NGOs, advocates and other stakeholders, and to take advantage of opportunities to create impact as they arise (‘emergent strategy’)

The four panel presentations were followed by reflections from Prof em. Clive Morton, who has held a range of board level roles at large UK and international business organisations, before the floor was opened up to questions and comments from the seminar participants.

The event drew an audience of academics and PhD students from a range of universities, in the UK and further afield, as well as from non-governmental organisations. Panellists’ slides can be found here [only accessible for Middlesex academics].

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