Understanding societal impact through productive interactions: ICT research as a case

S. de Jong, K. Barker, D. Cox, T. Sveinsdottir, P. Van den Besselaar
2014 Research Evaluation  
Colofon The Rathenau Instituut Working Paper Series presents results of recent research by staff members of the Rathenau Instituut. The series aims to disseminate the results of their research to a wider audience. An editorial committee, consisting of Dirk Stemerding and Laurens Hessels, reviews the quality of the working papers. All working papers are available for download in PDF format at www.rathenau.nl The reader is encouraged to provide the authors with feedback, questions and/or
more » ... ive criticism. Abstract Universities are increasingly expected to complement their traditional research and training missions with that of a third mission to reflect the engagement of universities with society, through the application and exploitation of knowledge. Previous research has resulted in limited knowledge on how field specific interactions between academic researchers and societal actors relate to the societal impact of academic research. This paper seeks to assess the impact on society of the work of university research, by examining in detail several case studies taken from the field of ICT research and to address what patterns of productive interactions result in societal impact within 'fragmented adhocracy fields' and what implications these patterns have for societal impact assessment of these fields. Our approach proves it is possible to identify how and what researchers have contributed to social impacts. Shifting focus to interactions allows short term knowledge transfer efforts contributing to societal impacts to be assessed.
doi:10.1093/reseval/rvu001 fatcat:nytbsonbwrakrkim2jrkyctjvi