Research with impact: Rachel Morrison

16 Mar, 2020
 
Headshot of Assoc Prof Rachel Morrison

Academic research – what’s it good for?

One of the best ways to demonstrate the impact of academic research is to translate evidence-based findings so they resonate with the public at large.

Associate Professor Rachel Morrison (Department of Management) has been in the spotlight lately, offering her informed perspectives to media as diverse as Wired magazine, TVNZ, and Law Talk (the NZ Law Society’s magazine). In addition, she will be presenting at an upcoming industry event – which is also open to the public.

Understand your audience

By translating her research into commentary that matches the different needs of these media and their audiences, Associate Professor Morrison brings to life the value of her work – be it through an in-depth magazine interview about the role of “pods” in open-plan offices, a pithy soundbite for TV about staying healthy at work during the COVID-19 outbreak, expert analysis of the way the legal sector can enhance its approach to work environments, or an engaging presentation tailored to industry professionals.

Associate Professor Morrison credits her public profile in part to her articles that have been published in The Conversation, a global news site dedicated to translating academic research into evidence-based, jargon-free articles that can be republished for free.

Since her first article appeared in 2013, Associate Professor Morrison’s three articles in The Conversation have, to date, generated more than 320,000 reads and have been republished by 50 different publishers.

Research that matters

“I believe that we, as academics, should be doing research that meets three goals. It should interest us personally, it should be publishable in academic journals, and (perhaps most importantly) it should address real issues, solve practical problems, and/or be beneficial to the community. If all three of these goals are met, translating research is not difficult to do. We are communicating relevant, thought-provoking messages that we know to be true, and that people will relate to.”

Read the article in Law Talk: Trending out: Should you plan for open-plan?

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