Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Different worlds? Finding constructive complementarity between academic research and societal impact activities

List of Authors: Girkontaitė Agnė, Benneworth Paul, Muhonen Reetta

Publisher: Vytauto Didziojo universiteto leidykla

Place: Liettua

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Darbai ir dienos

Issue number: 73

eISSN: 2335-8769



There is growing policy interest in stimulating academic researchers to
increase their engagement with societal partners. Understanding of
research impact is typically framed by conceptions derived from natural
and technological fields. In this article, we scrutinize how prior
studies discuss the societal impact of social sciences and humanities
(SSH) research. To address the dynamics of academic researchers’
engagement with societal partners, we conducted a literature review,
asking three questions about (a) motives and ways of engagement, (b)
dilemmas and struggles experienced, and (c) strategies to deal with
these struggles. Our study reveals that many SSH researchers tend to
engage with various societal partners in extra-academic fields, but they
experience tensions both on the practical level of limited resources
and time and because of idealistic orientations of scientific work that
sometimes are incommensurable with societal needs. While researchers
might be motivated to engage with societal partners, it is usually
means-driven rationality, but ends-driven rationality is for research in
itself. Solution is to create conditions where researchers would have
intrinsic motivation for engagement when complementarity between
research and societal impact activities would be established. On that
basis we propose that engagement should be treated as a quality of good
research and that creating new academic identities should reflect the
values of research communities where engagement is essential.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 11:30