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#ThinklistImpact Methodology

The rationale and criteria behind the #ThinklistImpact.

People using social media
The #ThinklistImpact highlights academics who have had influence or impact on practice

The #thinklist is curated by a group of experts in the field. The Centre for Business, Organisations and Society oversee the list, but commission the input of other leading scholars.

The #ThinklistImpact was selected by Garima Sharma, Nicholas Poggioli, Zahira Jaser and Mette Morsing. Our group of curators drew up the final list based on public nominations. Each nomination was considered in light of the following criteria:

  • They must have or seek to have impact in the fields of responsible and/or sustainable business, in one of the ways defined above.
  • They must have a formal university affiliation, either in a business or management school, or a closely related discipline.
  • They must use social media to discuss, amplify, disseminate OR create impact.

The selection process

The curators chose to produce a short list, to better draw attention to the specific forms and examples of impact. Reducing the pool of candidates in this way was extremely challenging, and many of the nominees were deserving of acknowledgement.

In recognition of their bias and subjectivity, particularly when creating a list this small, the curators repeatedly reviewed each other's scoring and debated the final #Thinklist at length. They also applied additional 'tests'; for example they asked "how does this person use their power and influence to (try and) affect change"? This meant that nominees with more 'institutional power', for example senior professors or those with a large profile, were expected to show more evidence of impact than more junior scholars.

This was, in part, due to the recognition that engaging with practice and wielding influence doesn't tend to be valued highly in Higher Education. Instead, advancement traditionally depends on one's publication record, institutional pedigree, and reputation. The curators hope that the #ThinklistImpact will play a small part in changing this by raising the reputations of academics whose research, teaching, and service are connected to and impact business practice. In particular they hope it will empower scholars to pursue change-making from the beginning of their careers, building it into their working lives, to challenge the idea that impact should be an afterthought or something you can do 'once you get tenure'.

The scholars, or groups of scholars, chosen by the curators were contacted and asked to confirm that they wished to be named on the list. If no response was received, we were unable to include them in the final version of the #ThinklistImpact.

It is important to remember that the #thinklist is a living thing - it develops and changes over time. Each list is just a snapshot of the curators’ views. If we have missed something, or if you have thoughts about refining our selection criteria to better fulfil our ambitions of inclusivity, please let us know.

The #ThinklistImpact

See the full list