Archive for December, 2007

“When Social Science and Humanities Research generate profit”*

December 2, 2007

– Focal research points for conditions of the New World Order – 

Theoretically the relevance of combining Humanities (HUM) and Social Sciences (SOC) in order to improve international business opportunities may be obvious as per statements and Stanford findings on on 21 July 2006.

However, the identification of hands on practicalities and specific research areas may be a demanding process in itself. Besides conventional Etno- / Demographic Sciences together with Religious / Cultural Differentiation, HUM comprises elements of immediate managerial oriented details from the business part of SOC.  

The HUM and SOC synergies’ contribution to positive bottom line results is generally considered a fact. However, exact knowledge about the leverage effects for innovation and growth is still to be developed.  

DEA – The Danish Business Research Academy has recently arranged a survey among 100 companies to map specific challenges and requirements as contributions to business solutions from both science fields. 

The research team from “New Insight A/S” performed the survey, disclosing the 7 most demanded research themes combined with 19 research areas, thus constituting research initiatives in the HUM / SOC crossfields, broadly demanded by the business community: 

Theme no. 1: Creativity and innovation.


  • Formalising creative processes
  • Inter-disciplinary approach to creative processes
  • Methods for user driven innovation
  • Intellectual property rights

Theme no. 2: The ageing population.


  • Inter-disciplinary and forward looking
  • Health and costs

Theme no. 3: Internet behaviour and communication.


  • Business models
  • Relations between users
  • Formation of opinions and concepts
  • Web 2.0 and branding

Theme no. 4: Cultural and business understanding.


  • Third world as a market
  • Cultural differences

Theme no. 5: Risk and uncertainty.


  • Consumer understanding of risk
  • Uncertainty and risk in companies
  • Thinking about the future

Theme no. 6: Value, relevance and impact.


  • Measuring the value of research 

Theme no. 7: Dynamics of change.


  • Challenge of companies
  • Readiness for change
  • Consumer trends and branding

Thus, the survey of the business sector’s demand for new research activities maps the the initial overall research themes combined with concretely identified research areas. 

Further, the survey includes a cross analysis of the three research themes given most attention, relevance and importance, ranked 1 – 3 in above list. 

These notes constitute a summarised version of the survey – for the most widespread inspiration among research fellows in the international Business School and University Community. 

Further readings and contacts: / 

*: Research project performed by DEA – the Danish Research Academy. 

Povl Tiedemann


December 2007