Exploring the relations in relational engagement: Addressing barriers to transformative consumer research

Maria G. Piacentini, Susan Dunnett, Kathy Hamilton, Emma Banister, Hélène Gorge, Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, Agnes Nairn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Marketing academics are increasingly seeking societal impact from their work, yet still encounter problems in creating and sustaining meaningful relationships with those whom their work seeks to help. We use an empirical investigation to identify and propose solutions to the key barriers that impede the initiation and development of impactful relationships between marketing academics and Social Impact Organizations (SIOs). The investigation entailed 20 interviews with SIOs and Knowledge Exchange (KE) professionals in the US, UK and France. The main barriers hindering relationships are differing perspectives on resources, goal misalignment and misconceptions about the other party. Potential solutions include: involving both parties in structured activities for initializing collaboration; planning resource investment in research; engaging with KE professionals to facilitate goal alignment and to broker communications; increasing academic visibility in SIO communities; using teaching as a springboard to develop collaborations; supporting SIO-led initiatives and finding creative ways to overcome time incongruity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-338
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Jul 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


  • Marketing representations
  • Relational engagement
  • Societal impact
  • Transformative research


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