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The Approach of the Business Sector to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)


  • Annamaria Inzelt

    (IKU Innovation Research Centre (Hungary))

  • Laslo Csonka

    (IKU Innovation Research Centre (Hungary))


This paper focuses on attitudes towards responsible research and innovation (RRI) and the approaches of business organizations, in that this emerging concept anticipates and assesses the various effects of research and innovation practice. The importance of this issue is highlighted by recent scandals in the automotive industry (and elsewhere). Much of our attention is devoted to corporate responsibility in the fields of research and innovation — an important value that goes beyond research. Our investigation was based on 27 case studies relating to companies from 14 European countries. The selection criteria went beyond those used most frequently in RRI studies, covering fields wider than emerging techno-sciences. This explorative research makes it easier to comprehend the feasibility and importance of empirical research. This feasibility study is a first step in obtaining relevant knowledge about the progress of European companies moving towards responsible research and innovation. The cases investigated show the existing dimensions and mechanisms of RRI in creating and identifying the barriers hindering RRI. The analysis has shown that RRI is little known as a comprehensive concept in companies, but many address RRI topics under other concepts such as CSR or sustainability. Altogether, several features of RRI are well covered by large European companies, and differences in business RRI activities and their scope may be explained by variations in the character of the entities concerned (size, ownership, industry). The novelty of this paper lies in its investigation into the business practices of RRI, not only as a whole, but by opening up ‘the black box’ to see which elements are more mature and which need further improvement. It also uniquely illustrates how different business characteristics influence the treatment of various RRI dimensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Annamaria Inzelt & Laslo Csonka, 2017. "The Approach of the Business Sector to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 11(4), pages 63-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:11:y:2017:i:4:p:63-73

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xavier Pavie & Victor Scholten & Daphné Carthy, 2014. "Responsible Innovation:From Concept to Practice," World Scientific Books, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., number 8903, June.
    2. Niels Mejlgaard & Carter Bloch, 2012. "Science in Society in Europe," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(6), pages 695-700, December.
    3. Armin Grunwald, 2011. "Responsible innovation: bringing together technology assessment, applied ethics, and STS research," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 7(7), pages 9-31, November.
    4. Lena Tsipouri, 2012. "Comparing innovation performance and science in society in the European member states," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(6), pages 732-740, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jolita Ceicyte & Monika Petraite, 2018. "Networked Responsibility Approach for Responsible Innovation: Perspective of the Firm," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(6), pages 1-15, May.

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    More about this item


    responsible research and innovation (RRI); corporate social responsibility (CSR); socioeconomic impact; sustainable development; ethical approach;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


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