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Theorizing and Enacting Societal Impact - 3 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 8 April 2024 at 09:00 to Wednesday 10 April 2024 at 16:30

Registration Deadline

Wednesday 20 March 2024 at 23:55


Kilen - room KL4.74 (fourth floor), Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg Kilen - room KL4.74 (fourth floor)
Kilevej 14A
2000 Frederiksberg

Theorizing and Enacting Societal Impact - 3 ECTS

Course coordinator: Eva Boxenbaum, Department of Organization (IOA)



Eva Boxenbaum, Professor
Department of Organization, CBS

Department of Organization, CBS
Stine Grodal, Professor
Northeastern University, US. Visiting Professor, CBS

Ruthanne Huising, Professor
EM Lyon Business School

Anders Krabbe, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor
King’s College London, UK

Vivi Lena Andersen, Director
Rudersdal Museums. PhD Cup 2018 participant


Students are required to submit an individual project plan related to societal impact (1-2 pages) no later than April 4th. They are also required to attend the full course to obtain a course certificate. 


The world of research is changing. As scholars, we are increasingly expected to articulate how our research contributes to society beyond offering new theoretical, methodological, and empirical insights. We are encouraged, and increasingly also incentivized, to demonstrate the societal impact of our research on broader society, that is, beyond our scholarly community and the classroom. Socially meaningful research is becoming a parameter for access to research funding.

This course equips participants with a theoretical understanding of societal impact that can help them position themselves within the changing landscape. Participants learn about professional organization and acquire organizational and communicative insights that are useful for enhancing the societal impact of research. Through this work, they begin shaping their own professional identity and impactful pathway as a researcher in view of crafting a meaningful career.  


The course is composed of theoretically informed lectures on societal impact at the intersection of organizational theory and communication theory. The morning blocks focus on understanding the inter-organizational context (“theorizing impact”), the afternoon blocks on how to navigate this context as an individual scholar (“enacting impact”). 

Lecture plan

Monday April 8

9.00 –   9.30: Introduction to course (Eva Boxenbaum)

9.30 – 11.30: Theorizing impact: professional aspirations (Stine Grodal, Anders Krabbe)

11.30 – 12.00  Individual project plan 

13.00 – 16.00: Enacting impact: Audiovisual storytelling & academia (Cathrine la Cour)

16.00 – 16.30: Individual project plan 

Tuesday April 9

9.00 –   9.30: Theorizing impact: pathways (Eva Boxenbaum)

9.30 – 11.30: Theorizing impact: changing roles and expertise of scholars (Ruthanne Huising)

11.30 – 12.00  Individual project plan 

13.00 – 16.00: Enacting impact: Communication skills (Vivi Lena Andersen)

16.00 – 16.30: Individual project plan

Wednesday, April 10

9.00 – 10.30 Theorizing impact: Modes of communication (Eva Boxenbaum & Silviya Svejenova)

10.30 – 11.30 Theorizing impact: Art & Aesthetics (Silviya Svejenova )

11.30 – 12.00 Individual project plan

13.00 – 16.00: Enacting impact: workshop (Cathrine La Cour, Eva Boxenbaum)

16.00 – 16.30  Course evaluation

Teaching style

The pedagogical approach revolves around an individual project plan related to societal impact, which participants submit in a rough draft before the course and further develop throughout the course. Participants build insights from lectures, discussion, group work, and exercises into their individual project plan as the course unfolds.  

Learning Objectives

Students learn to analyze the professional context in which they operate in view of creating societal impact. They gain theoretical insights from organization and management research to position themselves within this context and learn to apply communication theory to an individual project aimed at communicating their research to a broader audience. 

Indicative Course Literature

Abbott, A. (1981). Status and status strain in the professions. American Journal of Sociology, 86(4), 819-835.

Benco, R. C. (2020). Why science needs art. Smithsonian Magazine (April 15, 2020).

Boxenbaum, E., Jones, C., Meyer, R., & Svejenova, S. (2018). Towards an articulation of the material and visual turn in organization studies. Organization Studies, 39(5-6), 597-616.

Huising, R., “Epistemic travel and its dangers: Academic impact seeking, influencing, and posing” in preparation for Research in the Sociology of Organizations.

Jones, C., Svejenova, S., Pedersen, J. S., & Townley, B. (2016). Misfits, mavericks and mainstreams: Drivers of innovation in the creative industries. Organization Studies, 37(6), 751-768.

Kacprzyk, J., Clune, S., Clark, C., & Kane, A.  (2023). Making a greener planet: nature documentaries promote plant awareness, Annals of Botany, 131(2), 255–260.  

Khoury, C. K., Kisel, Y., Kantar, M., Barber, E., Ricciardi, V., Klirs, C., ... & Novy, A. (2019). Science–graphic art partnerships to increase research impact. Communications Biology2(1), 295. 

Krabbe, A. D., & Grodal, S. “The mediation dilemma and power hybris in the hearing aid industry (1945-2015)”, working paper.

Li, N., Villanueva, I. I., Jilk, T., Van Matre, B. R., & Brossard, D. (2023). Artistic representations of data can help bridge the US political divide over climate change. Communications Earth & Environment, 4(1), 195.

McKee, R., & Fryer, B. (2003). Storytelling that moves people. Harvard Business Review, 81(6), 51-55.

Meyer, R. E., Jancsary, D., Höllerer, M. A., & Boxenbaum, E. (2018). The role of verbal and visual text in the process of institutionalization. Academy of Management Review, 43(3), 392-418.

Pakarinen, P., & Huising, R. (2023). Relational expertise: What machines can't know. Journal of Management Studies, 10.1111/joms.12915

Reinecke, J., Boxenbaum, E., & Gehman, J. (2022). Impactful Theory: Pathways to Mattering. Organization Theory, 3(4).

Vaughan, D. (2006). NASA revisited: Theory, analogy, and public sociology. American Journal of Sociology, 112(2), 353-393.

Villanueva, I. I., Li, N., Jilk, T., Renner, J., Van Matre, B. R., & Brossard, D. (2024). When science meets art on Instagram: Examining the effects of visual art on emotions, interest, and social media engagement. Science Communication,

Registration deadline and conditions

The registration deadline is 26 February 2024. If you want to cancel your registration on the course it should be done prior to this mentioned date. By this date we determine whether we have enough registrations to run the course, or who should be offered a seat if we have received too many registrations.

If there are more seats available on the course we leave the registration open by setting a new regsitration deadline in order to fill remaining seats. Once you have received our acceptance/welcome letter to join the course, your registration is binding and we do not refund your course fee. The binding registration date will be the registration deadline mentioned above.

Payment methods
Make sure you choose the correct method of payment upon finalizing your registration:
CBS students:
Choose payment method CBS PhD students and the course fee will be deducted from your PhD course budget.
Students from other Danish universities: 
Choose payment method Danish Electronic Invoice (EAN). Fill in your EAN number, attention and possible purchase (project) order number.
Do you not pay by EAN number please choose Invoice to pay via electronic bank payment (+71). 
Students from foreign universities:
Choose payment method Payment Card. Are you not able to pay by credit card please choose Invoice International to pay via bank transfer. 


Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475