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The Impact of Higher Education Leadership, Management and Governance Research: Mining the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Impact Case Studies. London: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
Abstract and Figures
The impact agenda is moving at pace through higher education. Impact is increasingly central to universities’ research strategies. Whilst the term ‘impact’ is bandied about and we think we know what it means, there is little consensus in the sector about how impact is achieved, what kind of organisational conditions support and nurture it, or what success looks like. https://www.lfhe.ac.uk/en/research-resources/publications/index.cfm/S5-02 Impact is a priority for higher education research but there are very few anchors or compasses to orientate university leaders and the research community towards it. To find direction through this complex territory, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has commissioned this study of impact case studies from leadership, governance and management (LGM) research submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. The REF impact case study database provides, for the first time, a landmark resource for learning about research impact. This study set out to gain a conceptual handle on LGM research impact in terms of the processes and mechanisms involved. In particular, we were interested in mapping out how LGM research in these case studies led to change, made a difference or had impact. The results will help universities think through issues of impact: what the rationale is for understanding impact, why impact is important, and how it can be shown and maximised in its different contexts. The report provides practical advice for the academic community about finding routes to impact. In particular, the Adaptive Systems Framework for Advancing Research (AS-FAR) will be useful for researchers in their impact planning and reporting. It can contribute to the development of pathways to impact.
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