The purpose of this paper is to address the lack of relevance of business school research and how the potential gap between research and practice may be related to the lack of interaction between faculty members and non-academic stakeholders (e.g. industry, professions, society).
The review of the extant literature in this area is combined with the experiences and discussions with business school leaders from around the world.
The problematization of the lack of relevance of business school research leads us to conclude that it is a case of reward folly; the authors hope for relevance to external stakeholders but the authors reward for relevance to academic stakeholders. Drawing on Stokes’ (1997) research taxonomy, the authors conclude that business-school research should combine internal and external validity, which would involve business school faculty performing rigorous and relevant research, and interacting with practitioners; that is, an “academic triathlon”.
Faculty members should conduct research and teaching activities as well as interact with industry, and act to disseminate their research findings among external stakeholders. Consequently this should have implications for both the academic structure at business schools and the resources available to faculty members. Proceeding in this way will result in the narrowing of the gap of understanding between faculty members and management, and ultimately, to bridge the gap between contemporary versions of the Agora and the Academe.
The authors provide a taxonomy of stakeholders of business school research and outline changes in the structure of business schools, resources provided to faculty members and impact on accreditation agencies.
The authors are grateful to Howard Thomas and an anonymous referee for their many helpful suggestions on an earlier draft of this paper. Financial support from project ECO2013-48393-P is gratefully acknowledged.
Iñiguez De Onzoño, S. and Carmona, S. (2016), "The academic triathlon – bridging the agora and academia", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 854-865. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-10-2014-0117Download as .RIS
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