POSTED: August 4, 2017
Economy | Politics & Enterprise

At the interface: Measuring and Assessing Impacts of Organisational Action

Prof Fergus Lyon presenting CUSP research at 77th Meeting of the Academy of Management
Atlanta, 4-8 August 2017

CC.0 :: AlexanderVersallien /

A growing number of businesses are interested in contributing to positive social and environmental change, yet face challenges in how they can assess their impacts meaningfully. This issue will be explored in a Professional Development Workshop at the 77th Meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta, USA, where Fergus Lyon will be sharing CUSP research on how social enterprise can measure their impacts and their motivations, by looking in detail at themselves.

The workshop At the Interface: Measuring and Assessing Impacts of Organisational Action will explore techniques to assess impacts motivated by a desire to learn how to be better or to demonstrate business activities to others. Balancing the core environmental/social goal with a commercial objective of running a business is vital to this task and it’s not easily achieved.

Take reporting for instance: Should an enterprise report failures or less successful environmental and social activities, or should it not? Trust is a crucial issue in this context: enterprises have to trust that others will not use results of negative impact against them, and other stakeholders have to trust the measurements being presented.

The challenges of measurement and collaboration between sustainability researchers and business will be explored further in an additional paper on Managing transdisciplinary sustainability research: navigating different logics at the interface, presented on Tuesday 8 August 2017 (Session No. 2023). We will explore how businesses, researchers and other stakeholders all arrive at the process of assessing impact with different logics and ways of doing things. The challenge for researchers and for other stakeholders involved is to find ways of understanding other parties and working across their traditional boundaries of profession or discipline.


The Academy of Management is a global professional association for management and organization scholars. Its worldwide members are professors and Ph.D. students in business schools at universities, academics in related social science and other fields, and practitioners who value knowledge creation and application. Founded in 1936, its global community today is nearly 20,000 strong, spanning more than 120 countries. Its vision is “to inspire and enable a better world through scholarship and teaching about management and organizations”. The 77th annual Meeting is held in Atlanta, Georgia, from 4-8 August 2017. More details about the conference can be found on the AOM website. You can follow the conference on Twitter with the Hashtag #AOM2017.

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