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Panel: Is Management Research Appropriately Impacting Practitioners, Teaching, and New Theory Development?

19th CEEMAN Annual Conference
Georgia - Tbilisi | 2011
As a person who has spent the past 15 years in a business environment, I will be very short and precise. I think that most of the people in this room agree that research is one of our key activities. On the other hand, the main goal of a business school is to develop future business leaders. Many practitioners in the field of business feel that management research is too abstract and irrelevant to what they are doing. My first question is what can be done to make that research more relevant. In answering this question, it is important to consider to whom the research should be relevant and in what sense. 

We all know that to meet customer expectations, we need to satisfy their needs. At the very least, we have to speak their language. I agree completely with Olga: research papers are very hard to read by people who are not from an academic environment. My second question is how a research paper can be made readable by both academics and business practitioners. 

My third question is related to the use of research and its outcome. I think that there is a contradiction here. Researchers have their own interests and agendas. They are eager to learn something about new issues and discover some pattern. But is that really what customers expect? Also, management research tends to focus more on knowledge, whereas businesses focus on decision-making and expect short-term pay-offs. How can this contradiction be reconciled? 

I have also noticed that some business leaders perceive research as an indication of a lack of experience in a business environment. In their view, it has too narrow a focus on analyzing things. If scholars and executives cannot see the world in exactly the same way, can they at least look in the same direction? 

I would like to conclude with another personal observation. We should be modest in our expectations of how much research can be accepted by business. I think that management research is just one source of information that business leaders use in their practice.
19th CEEMAN Annual Conference: Management Education in a Changing World: Are We Ready for the Challenge?
September 2011
Published from:
October 2011
Larissa Winter, Panel: Is Management Research Appropriately Impacting Practitioners, Teaching, and New Theory Development?,
Accessed: October 21 2018,
Available at: http://video.ceeman.org/lectures/653/2011_ceemanac_tbilisi_winter_mraipt
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