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New research commissioned by Emerald highlights the gain for us all if academia and practice can overcome barriers to collaboration

Emerald calls on research communities to tackle the reward and incentive cultures that continue to stifle relationships between academia and society

Bingley, United Kingdom, 22 November 2017 – Emerald Publishing today launches a provocative new whitepaper and 'Real World Impact' campaign calling for funders, business schools and research communities to tackle the 'structural disincentives' that continue to hamper efforts to create bridges between academia and society.
Emerald does so on the day of the UK's Autumn Budget announcement, and the proposed publication of the Industrial Strategy. This comes at a time when the UK government has made clear that it wants to leverage the nation's research strengths to meet the needs of business and society.
The whitepaper - based on independent research commissioned by Emerald and conducted by Research Consulting, an independent consultancy specializing in the management and dissemination of academic research - argues that the inadequacy of support mechanisms for research collaborations and pressure to publish in prestigious academic journals are 'structural disincentives' to the pursuit of 'real world impact'.
Emerald conducted a survey in 2017 among 1,600 authors exploring their experiences, opinions and perceptions of the use of academic research in practice. More specifically, it looked at how academics engage with those outside academia, with key questions focusing on collaborations between academia and industry. 
In response to this survey, 97% said they believe their research has direct or indirect relevance outside academia, but only 36% said they felt incentivized to engage with non-academics.
The whitepaper suggests solutions to this ongoing problem, such as:
• Business schools cementing their role as 'anchor institutions' that support businesses, help academics establish relationships with professionals, and create opportunities for collaborations;
• Universities reviewing academic career progression in a way that rewards impactful research (and researchers), and mobilizing academic impact champions and other influential voices that can challenge the cultural inertia;
• A cultural and practical step driven by strong incentives to ensure that publicly funded business research contributes to creating a competitive, inclusive and sustainable economy.
Tony Roche - Director, Publishing and Strategic Relationships at Emerald Publishing - said: "There is evidence to suggest that those institutions that are actively managing their real world impact will increasingly see the benefit in terms of funding, whether from government, industry, or other private or charitable sources. 
"And yet we continue - as our whitepaper demonstrates - to see structural disincentives that limit the potential for research to have real world impact, and hamper efforts to create bridges between academia and society."
Tony continues: "We are therefore calling on research communities to come together, via our Real World Impact platform and blog, to find ways to break down these structural disincentives to ensure that business and management research maintains relevance in the real world." 
Emerald is calling for researchers, research managers, librarians, funders and professionals to share recommended solutions to some of the challenges outlined in the whitepaper, plus examples of research evidence changing the course of practice or policy in the real world, however small, on Emerald's newly launched Real World Impact blog.
Further developments around Emerald's Real World Impact initiative will be announced in the coming months.