Working with the Corporate Sector
Social scientists know that science implicitly includes values and that not everything about society translates to marketing, but the challenge is to talk in the vocabulary the customer understands. The researchers and their clients who tell their stories have worked with a variety of organisations across the breadth of industry and services. The corporate world is characterised by uncertainty. Markets fluctuate, customers are fickle, suppliers are not always reliable, and employees have changing needs. One of the unavoidable aspects of corporate life is a deadline focus. This may lead some academics to feel pushed into short-term solutions, which in turn may aggravate a sense of compromise. The real difference may not be the corporate tendency to short-termism, but precisely the opposite. In the corporate market, academics may find they are competing with consultants who have a different approach to research. Academics and corporate clients tend to talk differently, using different words and syntax.