Tracing "productive interactions" to identify social impacts: an example from the social sciences

Jordi Molas Gallart, Puay Tang
Research Evaluation

This paper applies the SIAMPI approach, which focuses on the concept of productive interactions, to

the identification of the social impact of research in the social sciences. An extensive interview programme with researchers in a Welsh universit

y research centre was conducted to identify the productive interactions and the perceived social impacts. The paper argues that an understanding of and

focus on the processes of interaction between research ers and stakeholders provides an effective way to study social impact and to deal with the attribut

ion problem common to the evaluation of the social impact of research. The SIAMPI approach thereby differentiates itself from other forms of impact

assessment and evaluation methods. This approach is particularly well-suited to the social sciences, where research is typically only one component of complex social and political processes.