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Producing and socializing relevant management knowledge: re‐turn to pragmatism

Jacqueline Fendt (ESCP‐EAP European School of Management, Paris, France)
Renata Kaminska‐Labbé (CERAM Business School, Nice‐Sophia Antipolis, France)
Wladimir M. Sachs (ESC Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 15 October 2008




Management practice is progressing at unprecedented pace and often academia is lagging behind, if not totally irrelevant, both in management research and in education. This paper strives to show how principles of pragmatism and action research are likely to increase the relevance of management research and education.


A reflection based on a broad review of ontological and epistemological issues leads to a call for philosophical re‐foundation of management academia.


Pragmatism defines truth seeking as reducing doubt, and therefore necessarily includes the notion of a client for the research effort. Action research is a practical embodiment of this approach and deserves a more prominent role.

Research limitations/implications

The research limitations and implications are inherent in the chosen methodology/approach: a viewpoint that hopefully stimulates others.

Practical implications

This paper makes concrete suggestions as to how to bring research and education closer to the client to permit cross‐fertilization and improve problem‐solving processes.


The paper offers a meta‐synthesis of ontological and epistemological approaches to the theory‐praxis gap. It outlines the imminent pertinence of pragmatism as a philosophy and as a practice of management science and relates pragmatism to theory of action, purporting pragmatist paradigms of management knowledge socialization.



Fendt, J., Kaminska‐Labbé, R. and Sachs, W.M. (2008), "Producing and socializing relevant management knowledge: re‐turn to pragmatism", European Business Review, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 471-491.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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