Revised EQUIS research standard empowers schools to showcase research diversity


The revised EQUIS research standard gives broad recognition to a wide range of research types, from academic to practice-oriented. It requires schools to establish a clear research strategy aligned with their objectives and implement robust support systems for faculty. The reformulated research reporting framework allows schools to improve data collection and self-representation regarding practice-oriented research.

Research excellence is crucial for enhancing a school’s brand, attracting high-quality faculty and students, securing funding, and delivering actionable knowledge and new management practices. The EQUIS definition of research is broad, encompassing academic publications and professionally relevant outlets that address traditional management fields and contemporary issues like ethics, sustainability, digitalisation, and AI. In the revised EQUIS standard (Chapter Five), schools are given a comprehensive framework to present the full extent of their research output and outlets.

Alfons Sauquet, EFMD Director of Quality Services and EQUIS, commented:

“When our task force began looking at the revision of the research chapter in 2023, our goals included endorsing a richer and more complex view of research in EQUIS schools and improving the scope of research in EQUIS accreditation, increasing attention to practice-oriented research, separating innovative methods of teaching from research, improving research reporting to include data collection, and enhancing the school’s public reputation.”

“With the latest changes to chapter five, we have now given schools a better framework to tell their stories — to showcase what is most important to them, be it excellence in academic or practice-oriented research.”

EQUIS promotes holistic research evaluation methods beyond traditional bibliometrics, considering platforms like DORA and CoARA valuable for framing research impact. To capture the full scope of the schools’ research impact, they must document their research strategies, aligning them with their missions and strengths, valuing both theoretical and practice-oriented research.

Snapshot: What’s new in Chapter Five


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The standard recognises a broad spectrum of research, from academic to practice-oriented, and values contemporary topics such as ethics, sustainability, digitalisation, and geopolitical challenges. EQUIS also underscores the significance of research integrity, ethics, diversity, inclusion, and holistic evaluation beyond traditional metrics.

EQUIS differentiates between academic research, which focuses on theoretical advancements, and practice-oriented research, aimed at solving real-world challenges and generating actionable insights. Both types are considered valuable, encouraging schools to document their research strategies, achievements, and impacts comprehensively.

The revised standard requires schools to have a clear research strategy aligned with their overall objectives, robust support systems for faculty, and processes for evaluating research activities. This includes international collaboration, ethical considerations, and addressing global challenges. Schools must demonstrate their research productivity, impact, and engagement with various stakeholders through diverse dissemination methods, ensuring their research efforts contribute to thought leadership and practical advancements in business and management.

You can access the complete 2024 EQUIS Standards and Criteria document online, which includes the latest updates and revisions to Chapter Five.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the members of the task force for their dedicated efforts from January to November 2023 in enhancing the scope of the EQUIS research standard:

EQUIS – EFMD Quality Improvement System

EQUIS is a rigorous tool for business schools to assess, accredit and improve their quality in ten key areas, benchmarking them against international standards in terms of governance, programmes, students, faculty, research, and foremost, internationalisation, ethics, responsibility and sustainability, as well as corporate engagement.

It offers a quality assessment and a quality improvement process, very much rooted in the mission of EFMD. True quality is about striving to do better, even when you are already excellent, and this focus on continuous improvement is thus at the heart of the EQUIS mission.

EQUIS attaches particular importance to the creation of effective learning environments that foster students’ managerial and entrepreneurial skills alongside their personal development and sense of global responsibility.

There are currently 223 EQUIS-accredited schools across 45 countries globally.

Discover further insights regarding EQUIS by exploring the Frequently Asked Questions.

For additional insights, announcements and perspectives about EQUIS, visit the conversation here.

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