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Industrial and Organisational Psychology: Research Impact

This subject guide provides an overview of the most important resources for Industrial and Organisational Psychology.


Research impact refers to the tangible and lasting effects that scholarly work has on society, policy, industry, and academia. It goes beyond traditional measures of academic success, such as citations, and encompasses the real-world outcomes and changes resulting from research activities.

Impact can manifest in various forms, including influencing public policies, addressing societal challenges, contributing to technological advancements, and fostering positive changes in communities.

A researcher's impact is a testament to the broader significance and applicability of their work, demonstrating how knowledge creation and dissemination can lead to meaningful transformations in the world at large. In essence, research impact measures the reach and influence of scholarly contributions beyond academic circles, reflecting the ability of research to make a genuine and beneficial difference in the real world.

Research Impact

Research impact encompasses the far-reaching effects of scholarly work beyond the academic realm. It measures the real-world influence and contributions that research makes to society, policy, industry, and various stakeholders. It is important to note that research impact is multifaceted and extends beyond traditional academic metrics. Researchers are encouraged to consider the diverse ways in which their work can create positive and lasting changes across different sectors and communities.


  • Academic Impact: Focuses on traditional academic measures like citations, publications, and academic recognition within a specific field.
  • Societal Impact: Examines how research affects communities, public awareness, and societal well-being.
  • Economic Impact: Assesses the influence of research on economic activities, innovation, and industry development.
  • Policy Impact: Centers on the ability of research to inform and influence policy decisions at local, national, or global levels.


  • Instrumental Impact: Refers to the direct application of research findings in shaping policies, technologies, or practices.
  • Conceptual Impact: Focuses on the influence of research in shaping new ideas, paradigms, or theoretical frameworks within a discipline.
  • Capacity-Building Impact: Examines how research contributes to enhancing the skills, knowledge, and capabilities of individuals or organizations.
  • Cultural Impact: Considers the influence of research on cultural practices, norms, and societal values.


  • Primary Impact: Immediate and direct effects resulting directly from the research findings.
  • Secondary Impact: Indirect effects that occur as a consequence of the primary impact, often influencing additional areas or disciplines.
  • Tertiary Impact: Broader societal or systemic changes that stem from the cumulative effects of primary and secondary impacts.


  • Short-term Impact: Immediate effects and changes resulting from the research.
  • Medium-term Impact: Effects that unfold over a few years, influencing policies, practices, or industries.
  • Long-term Impact: Enduring and sustained effects that shape the trajectory of a field or society over an extended period.


  • Local Impact: Effects confined to a specific geographic region or community.
  • National Impact: Influences that extend across a nation, shaping policies and practices on a larger scale.
  • Global Impact: Effects that transcend borders, contributing to international knowledge, policies, and practices.

Vertical Impact: Influence within a specific academic discipline or field.
Horizontal Impact: Cross-disciplinary effects that contribute to the convergence of knowledge and methodologies.

Metrics and indicators used to measure research impact is diverse and more than one metric or indicator must be used to assess the impact of your work comprehensively. It is important to adopt a holistic approach that combines quantitative, qualitative, and collaborative metrics to capture the multifaceted nature of research impact. 

  • Citation Counts: Track the number of times your work is cited in other scholarly publications.
  • h-index: Measure of both productivity and citation impact of a researcher's publications.
  • Journal Impact Factor: Reflects the average number of citations to articles published in a specific journal.
  • Library Holdings: Assess the number of libraries or institutions holding physical copies of your publications.
  • Database Usage: Track usage statistics for your work in academic databases and repositories.
  • Social Media Mentions: Monitor mentions and discussions of your work on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Article Downloads and Views: Track how often your publications are downloaded or viewed online.
  • Bookmarking and Sharing: Monitor the number of times your work is bookmarked, saved, or shared on reference management platforms.
  • Technology Transfer: Evaluate the impact of research in the development of new technologies or applications.
  • Legacy Impact: Assess the enduring impact of your work on subsequent generations of researchers and practitioners.
  • Collaboration Networks: Analyze the extent and impact of your collaborative efforts with other researchers.
  • Co-authorship Networks: Assess the influence of your network by evaluating co-authorship patterns and collaborations.
  • Professional Recognition: Evaluate awards, honors, or recognitions received for your contributions.
  • Influence on Education: Measure the impact of your work on educational curricula or teaching practices.
  • Grant Success: Measure the success rate of grant applications and the impact of funded projects.
  • Economic Impact: Evaluate the economic contributions resulting from research-related activities, such as spin-off companies or industry partnerships.
  • Research Impact Scores: Develop composite scores based on a combination of various impact indicators to provide a comprehensive view.
  • Field-Normalized Metrics: Compare your impact metrics with those of peers in your field, accounting for disciplinary variations.
  • Policy Citations: Track instances where your work is cited in policy documents or guidelines.
  • Media Coverage: Monitor coverage of your research in mainstream media and its potential impact on public awareness.
  • Community Engagement: Measure the extent of your engagement with local communities and the societal impact of your research.

You are encouraged to consider the specific context of your work and leverage multiple pathways to maximize the reach and effectiveness of your contributions.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER Facilitate the transfer of knowledge from academic research to practical applications in various sectors by collaborating with industry partners to implement research findings. Develop resources, guidelines, or toolkits for practitioners based on research outcomes. CULTURAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT Influence cultural practices, societal norms, and address social challenges by engaging with cultural institutions or community organizations to promote cultural impact. Address societal issues through research-based interventions and solutions.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER Transform research innovations into tangible technologies or products with real-world applications by collaborating with technology transfer offices to explore commercialization opportunities. Engage with industry to understand technological needs and opportunities for implementation. CAPACITY BUILDING Enhance the skills, knowledge, and capabilities of individuals or organizations by offer training programs, workshops, or mentorship opportunities based on research expertise. Collaborate with educational institutions to develop capacity-building initiatives.
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Involve the public in the research process, disseminating information, and gathering input. This can be done by organizing public lectures, workshops, or webinars to share research findings. Collaborate with community organizations to address local challenges through research. INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION Collaborate with researchers, organizations, or communities globally to amplify impact by participating in international conferences and collaborative research projects. Engage in cross-cultural initiatives to address global challenges.
POLICY INFLUENCE Impact policymaking processes at local, national, or international levels by engage with policymakers through briefings, consultations, and advisory roles. Translate research findings into policy recommendations. CROSS-DISCIPLINARY INTEGRATION Integrate research findings across diverse disciplines for a holistic impact by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to address complex challenges. Also contribute to cross-disciplinary conferences and initiatives.
EDUCATIONAL IMPACT Contribute to educational practices, curricula development, and pedagogical advancements by integrating research outcomes into educational materials and courses. Collaborate with lecturers to incorporate innovative teaching methodologies. COMMUNITY OUTREACH Extend the impact of research to local communities through outreach initiatives by collaborate with community organizations for outreach programs. Engage in community-based participatory research to address local needs.
INDUSTRY COLLABORATION Foster partnerships with industry to apply research findings in practical settings by establishing research collaborations with industry stakeholders. Participate in industry conferences and events to showcase research outcomes. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Contribute to sustainable development goals through research initiatives by aligning research projects with sustainable development objectives. Collaborate with organizations focused on sustainable practices and initiatives.

Stakeholders are individuals or groups directly affected by or involved in the research and its outcomes. The following key stakeholders are involved in the research process.

  • Fellow Researchers and Academics
  • Industry Professionals and Employers
  • Policymakers and Government Agencies
  • Funding Bodies and Philanthropic Organizations

When communicating with stakeholders, it is important to tailor your communication as follows:

  • Academics: Emphasize scholarly significance, methodologies, and potential contributions to the academic community.
  • Industry Professionals: Highlight practical applications, innovations, and relevance to industry challenges.
  • Policymakers: Communicate policy implications, potential societal benefits, and alignment with policy objectives.
  • Funding Bodies: Emphasize alignment with funding priorities, potential impact, and outcomes.

Effective publications and dissemination strategies are paramount for ensuring that research findings transcend academic boundaries and have a meaningful impact on diverse audiences. This framework outlines key strategies to maximize the visibility, accessibility, and engagement of research outputs, encompassing open access initiatives, targeted communication channels, collaborative efforts, and continuous adaptation to evolving dissemination practices. By employing these strategies, researchers can amplify the impact of their work, reaching academic, industry, policy, and public audiences with clarity and relevance.

OPEN ACCESS AND ACCESSIBILITY Ensure that research publications are openly accessible to a global audience, fostering widespread dissemination by publishing in open-access journals or deposit preprints in repositories. Share preprints on preprint servers to increase early visibility. REPOSITORY DEPOSITS

Deposit research outputs in institutional and subject-specific repositories to increase accessibility. 

  • Submit preprints or postprints to institutional repositories.
  • Deposit datasets and supplementary materials for comprehensive dissemination.

Choose publication outlets strategically to maximize visibility and reach the target audience by publishing in reputable journals in the field, considering impact factors and readership. Also consider interdisciplinary journals to reach broader audiences.


Engage with communities and the public through lectures, workshops, and outreach programs. Offer public lectures on research topics at community events or educational institutions and organize workshops to share research insights with specific communities.


Utilize diverse channels to disseminate research findings, reaching different audiences by sharing findings through academic conferences, workshops, and seminars.Use social media, blogs, or podcasts to communicate with a wider audience.


Collaborate with traditional and digital media outlets to amplify the reach of research findings by developing press releases for major research milestones.

Engage with journalists to cover research in mainstream media.


Collaborate with peers, institutions, and organizations to amplify the dissemination impact by co-authoring papers with researchers from diverse institutions. Collaborate with institutions to organize joint dissemination events.

TARGET AUDIENCE COMMUNICATION ​​Tailor communication strategies for specific target audiences to enhance relevance. 


Customize communication materials for academics, policymakers, industry professionals, and the general public.

Utilize language and examples that resonate with each audience.


Create lay summaries and use plain language to make research findings accessible to non-expert audiences by developing concise and clear summaries of research findings for public dissemination. Use plain language in communication materials to enhance accessibility.


Continue to engage with the audience post-publication to answer queries and provide additional insights.

Respond to comments and questions on published platforms.

Share updates and additional findings through follow-up publications or communications.


Enhance dissemination through visual and multimedia elements for better engagement by creating infographics summarizing key research findings. Develop short videos or visual abstracts for online sharing.


Regularly monitor the impact of dissemination efforts through metrics and feedback. Adapt dissemination strategies based on audience response and evolving communication trends.


In the realm of academic research, the true potential lies in collaborative endeavors and meaningful engagement. This will ensure that the impact of your research resonates far beyond academia, influencing industries, policies, and communities.


Foster collaboration across different disciplines to bring diverse perspectives and expertise to research by actively seeking out interdisciplinary collaborations and by participating in interdisciplinary research centers or initiatives.


Engage with the public through outreach initiatives, communication campaigns, and participatory activities.

Organize public lectures, science festivals, or interactive exhibitions.

Utilize social media for science communication and public engagement.


Involve key stakeholders from various sectors in the research process to enhance relevance and impact by engaging with industry professionals, policymakers, and community representatives. Establish advisory boards or committees with diverse stakeholders.


Form industry advisory boards with representatives from relevant industry partners to gain insights into industry needs and ensure research relevance.

Establish advisory boards with representatives from relevant industries.

Seek regular input and feedback from industry partners.


Collaborate with industry partners to bridge the gap between academic research and practical applications by establishing partnerships with companies in relevant sectors and by collaborating and joining research and development projects.


Collaborate on funding applications to strengthen research proposals and secure support by forming research consortia for large-scale projects.

Collaborate on grant applications with researchers from different disciplines or institutions.


Engage directly with communities in the research process to address local needs and enhance societal impact by collaborating with community organizations and leaders. Involve community members in the design and implementation of research projects.


Maintain open and regular communication with collaborators, stakeholders, and the public throughout the research process by using project management tools for effective communication.

Provide updates on progress, challenges, and outcomes.


Collaborate with researchers, institutions, and organizations globally to address challenges on an international scale by participate in international conferences and workshops. 

Collaborate on global research initiatives or projects.


Collaborate to build the capacity of individuals and organizations involved in the research process. You can offer training programs, workshops, or mentorship opportunities and share resources and expertise to enhance collective capabilities.


Organize and participate in events that facilitate the exchange of knowledge among researchers, practitioners, and the public by hosting workshops, seminars, or symposiums to share research findings.

Participate in conferences and events to learn from peers and experts.


Assess the impact of collaborations on research outcomes and collect feedback from collaborators to improve collaborative practices.


Establish and contribute to collaborative networks within and outside the academic community by joining research networks or consortia and by actively participating in professional associations and societies.




In the ever-evolving landscape of academic research, the true measure of success extends beyond scholarly recognition to the tangible influence a study has on society and policymaking. Research can drive meaningful change, from shaping policies that address pressing societal issues to fostering community engagement and advocacy. The following table explores how you can leverage your work to not only contribute to the scholarly discourse but also actively participate in the betterment of society through informed policy decisions.

POLICY INFORMANTS Researchers act as informants, providing policymakers with evidence-based insights to inform decision-making processes. This strategy involves actively engaging with policymakers, sharing research findings, and translating complex data into policy-relevant recommendations. PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS Researchers actively engage in public awareness campaigns to disseminate research findings directly to the public. By raising awareness and fostering public understanding of critical issues, researchers contribute to informed public discourse, potentially influencing public opinion and, in turn, policymakers.
ADVOCACY THROUGH RESEARCH Researchers engage in advocacy efforts, leveraging their expertise to influence public opinion and policymakers. By aligning research findings with advocacy campaigns, researchers can amplify their impact, advocating for positive societal change and influencing policy decisions. COLLABORATIVE POLICYMAKING Researchers actively collaborate with policymakers in a co-creative process, where the research is conducted in tandem with policymakers. This approach ensures that research is directly aligned with policy needs, fostering a collaborative environment that enhances the likelihood of research impact on policy decisions.
COMMUNITY-DRIVEN POLICY SOLUTIONS Research is conducted in collaboration with local communities, addressing their specific needs and challenges. By involving community members in the research process, the resulting findings directly inform policies that positively impact the community, ensuring that policy solutions are contextually relevant and effective. POLICY EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK LOOPS Researchers play a crucial role in evaluating the impact of existing policies. By providing feedback on policy effectiveness, researchers contribute to evidence-based policymaking, ensuring that policies are continuously refined and improved based on ongoing research insights.
GLOBAL POLICY INFLUENCE Researchers engage in global collaborations and contribute to international research initiatives that inform global policies. By participating in cross-border research projects, researchers can influence policies at the international level, addressing global challenges and fostering cooperation between nations. ENGAGING WITH REGULATORY AGENCIES Researchers engage with regulatory agencies to inform and shape regulations in various industries. By providing scientific evidence and expertise, researchers contribute to the development of regulations that prioritize public health, safety, and environmental sustainability.
POLICY IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERSHIPS Researchers actively collaborate with government agencies and non-governmental organizations to implement and evaluate policy interventions. This approach involves not only informing policy decisions but also contributing to the practical implementation of policies, ensuring a seamless transition from theory to action. PARTNERSHIPS WITH NGO's Researchers collaborate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address societal challenges. By working alongside NGOs, researchers can contribute to impactful initiatives, combining research insights with the operational capabilities of NGOs to drive positive societal change.
LEGISLATIVE ENGAGEMENT Researchers engage with legislative bodies to provide expert testimony, contribute to legislative debates, and shape the content of proposed bills. This direct interaction with lawmakers ensures that research findings are considered in the legislative process, influencing the development of laws and regulations. MEDIA ENGAGEMENT FOR POLICY IMPACT Researchers actively engage with media outlets to disseminate research findings to the public and policymakers. Through interviews, op-eds, and media campaigns, researchers can amplify the reach of their research, influencing public opinion and policymakers alike.


NRF Rating Preparation

NRF Rating Preparation

This guide provides information and tools for measuring research impact, focusing on the use of citation metrics in NRF rating preparation