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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2020

Kelly Grace

Working in the world of international education consulting, while being fresh out of a PhD in comparative and international education (CIE), has magnified the challenges…

Abstract

Working in the world of international education consulting, while being fresh out of a PhD in comparative and international education (CIE), has magnified the challenges in bridging academic CIE research and practical work. When brought into practical work, CIE academic research brings a critical lens to what can often be a normative field, while clarifying theoretical lineage and concepts, supporting the operationalization and conceptualization of terms, and strengthening survey and questionnaire development. Despite the usefulness of CIE academic research to strengthen practical projects, programs and research, access to academic research in CIE limits its use on numerous levels. First, physical access to articles and books through costly subscriptions is an often-discussed challenge. Access to academic language, particularly for second language learners, carries an additional barrier. Finally, practitioners’ ability to wade through lengthy, dense, and technical articles, while identifying the key components of academic research, is a skill that is developed over time and with training.

While the reasons for the divide are common to many fields, CIE academic research has the added challenge of being situated in the highly practical field of education. However, this makes practitioner access to CIE academic research all the more crucial. Along with discussing issues of relevance and access, this discussion chapter highlights the exploration of alternative sources of academic research content to help academics and other scholars in CIE make their research more accessible. In this way, this discussion proposes that academic research and practice meet in the middle. Not only by increasing physical access to research through the various means discussed but also by using scaffolding approaches to academic research dissemination with the aim to increase the capacity of practitioners’ access to and use of CIE academic research. These approaches not only serve to bring academic research into the visibility of practice, but also to support practitioners’ skills in accessing and applying academic CIE research more easily.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-724-4

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Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2010

Keijo Räsänen

This chapter was inspired by and tells of a conference experience. Most “ordinary” academics like me go to a varying number of conferences annually and regularly share…

Abstract

This chapter was inspired by and tells of a conference experience. Most “ordinary” academics like me go to a varying number of conferences annually and regularly share stories of these experiences with our colleagues. The conference stories are about a central set of practices in academic work, at least for active researchers. However, it is difficult to find studies of conference practices (for exceptions, see Radford, 2000), and, in particular, their broader meanings to both organizers and participants.

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Relational Practices, Participative Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-007-1

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Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2017

Rebecca Bloch, Gary Kleinman and Amanda Peterson

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive theory as to why academic research in accounting is said not to help practice.The authors (1) present a…

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive theory as to why academic research in accounting is said not to help practice.

The authors (1) present a comprehensive literature review in the academic/practitioner gap arena, and (2) develop a theoretical background for it. Further, they identify (3) the different information needs of these groups using value group theory and (4) the inherent factors and personality traits that influence career choice. Next, they (5) evaluate the values of each subgroup. They then (6) theorize what types of accounting research would interest each. They argue that (7) individuals who enter the academy differ from those who enter practice, and (8) the socialization processes and the impact of the professional setting (practice or academe) on behaviors further the separation of academic research from practitioner needs.

This paper is theoretical. It suggests that bridging the gap will be difficult. The study is theoretical. The limitation is that it does not empirically test the relationships hypothesized. By providing a comprehensive model of factors underlying the gap, however, it can be a fruitful source of research ideas for years to come. The implications are that it will be difficult to bridge the gap between accounting practitioners and academics. Having a greater understanding of the causes of the gap, however, may be very useful in fostering thought as to how to overcome it.

Prior literature on the topic is largely atheoretical. This paper is the first to develop a broad theory of the gap.

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Parables, Myths and Risks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-534-4

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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2016

Basil P. Tucker and Raef Lawson

This paper compares and contrasts practice-based perceptions of the research–practice gap in the United States (US) with those in Australia.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper compares and contrasts practice-based perceptions of the research–practice gap in the United States (US) with those in Australia.

Methodology/approach

The current study extends the work of Tucker and Lowe (2014) by comparing and contrasting their Australian-based findings with evidence from a questionnaire survey and follow-up interviews with senior representatives of 18 US state and national professional accounting associations.

Findings

The extent to which academic research informs practice is perceived to be limited, despite the potential for academic research findings to make a significant contribution to management accounting practice. We find similarities as well as differences in the major obstacles to closer engagement in the US and Australia. This comparison, however, leads us to offer a more fundamental explanation of the divide between academic research and practice framed in terms of the relative benefits and costs of academics engaging with practice.

Research implications

Rather than following conventional approaches to ‘bridging the gap’ by identifying barriers to the adoption of research, we suggest that only after academics have adequate incentives to speak to practice can barriers to a more effective diffusion of their research findings be surmounted.

Originality/value

This study makes three novel contributions to the “relevance literature” in management accounting. First, it adopts a distinct theoretical vantage point to organize, analyze, and interpret empirical evidence. Second, it captures practice-based views about the nature and extent of the divide between research and practice. Third, it provides a foundational assessment of the generalizability of the gap by examining perceptions of it across two different geographic contexts.

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Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-972-5

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2017

Basil P. Tucker and Matthew Leach

Purpose: The current study aims to cast light on the divide between academic research in management accounting and its applicability to practice by examining, from the…

Abstract

Purpose: The current study aims to cast light on the divide between academic research in management accounting and its applicability to practice by examining, from the standpoint of nursing, how this gap is perceived and what challenges may be involved in bridging it.

Design/Methodology/Approach: The current study compares the findings of Tucker and Parker (2014) with both quantitative as well as qualitative evidence from an international sample of nursing academics.

Findings: The findings of this study point to the differing tradition and historical development in framing and addressing the research–practice gap between management accounting and nursing contexts and the rationale for practice engagement as instrumental in explaining disciplinary differences in addressing the research–practice gap.

Research Implications Despite disciplinary differences, we suggest that a closer engagement of academic research in management accounting with practice “can work,” “will work,” and “is worth it.” Central to a closer relationship with practice, however, is the need for management accounting academics to follow their nursing counterparts and understand the incentives that exist in undertaking research of relevance.

Originality/value: The current study is one of the few that has sought to look to the experience of other disciplines in bridging the gap. Moreover, to our knowledge, it is the first study in management accounting to attempt this comparison. In so doing, our findings provide a platform for further considering how management accounting researchers, and management accounting as a discipline might, in the spirit of this study’s title, “Learn from the Experience of Others.”

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Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-297-0

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

David E. Gray, Paul Iles and Sandra Watson

This article aims to explore dimensions and tensions in the relationship between theory (usually produced by academics) and practice (the domain, normally of…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore dimensions and tensions in the relationship between theory (usually produced by academics) and practice (the domain, normally of practitioners) in human resource development (HRD).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines, from a conceptual perspective, the nature of mode 2 research, where knowledge is generated in the context of multi‐stakeholder teams (academics and practitioners) that transcend the boundaries of traditional disciplines, working on problems to be found in working life.

Findings

Mode 2 research has been seen in dichotomous terms of theory versus practice, referred to in various ways such as: the research‐practice gap; the implementation gap; the research‐practice divide; and the theory‐practice void. This gap is also typified by mode 1 research, an approach which adopts the principles of “normal science” and which generates results, the main beneficiaries of which are the academic community. The authors forward mode 2 research as an approach that requires both academic rigour and practical relevance. The article presents and critically evaluates a number of examples of academic‐practitioner partnerships in action in order to highlight both the potential and the challenges for the development of mode 2 research. It also recommends strategies for the advancement of mode 2 research, including getting academics to attune themselves more closely with the needs of practitioners, encouraging academics to write for practitioner journals, and the use of the kinds of research methodologies that can generate richer stories and cases that resonate with practitioner interests. Practitioners, however, need research that has a practical focus and which can be applied immediately.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual paper that draws on secondary examples to support the authors' contentions, making it appropriate to gain further background information on bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Practical implications

The paper critically evaluates a number of examples of academic‐practitioner partnerships in action.

Originality/value

This paper provides an in‐depth analysis of the challenges of undertaking effective and robust practice‐based research, through articulating philosophical differences in research approaches and discussing tensions between academic and practitioner needs.

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Victoria Louise O'Donnell

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the impact of organisational policies around inclusion on individual academic practices, and to develop an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the impact of organisational policies around inclusion on individual academic practices, and to develop an understanding of the factors which enable or prevent shifts towards inclusion in higher education learning and teaching.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents data from the document analysis phase of a larger research project. To achieve an understanding of the complex process of development towards an inclusive higher education culture within one focal university, the research took a qualitative approach, underpinned by a critical realist perspective which acknowledges and demands the investigation of multiple levels of reality. The documentary analysis presented here used a constant comparative technique. Documents were analysed inductively by the project team, leading to the identification of key emergent themes.

Findings

Three themes related to the development of an inclusive higher education culture emerged from the analysis of the data. These were: learner empowerment; changing practice through challenging practice; inclusive practice as good practice. The focal university’s vision for an inclusive culture was expressed inconsistently across data sources, and did not provide clear indications of concrete shifts in practice which would be required in order to enact that vision.

Originality/value

The data are analysed and discussed through the lens of socio-cultural theory, allowing for a complex understanding to emerge of the ways in which participation in the valued practices of a university community is affected by the influence of policy and strategy.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2014

Basil P. Tucker and Alan D. Lowe

The aim of this paper is to identify and gain insights into the significance of barriers contributing to the purported “gap” between academic management accounting…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to identify and gain insights into the significance of barriers contributing to the purported “gap” between academic management accounting research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on diffusion of innovations theory, this study collects and analyses data from a questionnaire survey and follow-up interviews with 19 representatives of the four principal professional accounting bodies in Australia.

Findings

Professional accounting bodies perceive the gap between academic research and practice in management accounting to be of limited concern to practitioners. The two most significant barriers to research utilisation by practitioners are identified as: difficulties in understanding academic research papers; and limited access to research findings. In acting as a conduit between the worlds of academia and practice, professional bodies have an important role to play by demonstrating the mutual value to both academics and practitioners resulting from a closer engagement between MA research and practice.

Research limitations/implications

As one of the few empirically-based, theoretically informed investigations exploring the research-practice gap in management accounting, this study provides insights rather than “answers”. Its findings therefore serve as a foundational basis for further empirical and theoretical enquiry.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the conversation about the “research-practice gap” in management accounting by adopting a distinct theoretical vantage point to organize, analyse and interpret empirical evidence obtained from Australian professional accounting bodies about management accounting practice.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Miriam Zukas and Janice Malcolm

This paper aims to examine the everyday practices of academic work in social science to understand better academics’ learning. It also asks how academic work is enacted in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the everyday practices of academic work in social science to understand better academics’ learning. It also asks how academic work is enacted in relation to the discipline, department and university, taking temporality as its starting point.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sought to trace academic activities in practice. Within three universities, 14 academics were work-shadowed; social, material, technological, pedagogic and symbolic actors were observed and where possible connections and interactions were traced (including beyond the institution). This paper reports on a subset of the study: the academic practices of four early-career academics in one discipline are analysed.

Findings

Email emerges as a core academic practice and an important pedagogic actor for early career academics in relation to the department and university. Much academic work is “work about the work”, both in and outside official work time. Other pedagogic actors include conferences, networks and external Web identities. Disciplinary work happens outside official work time for the most part and requires time to be available. Disciplinary learning is therefore only afforded to some, resulting in structural disadvantage.

Originality/value

By tracing non-human and human actors, it has emerged that the department and university, rather than the discipline, are most important in composing everyday work practices. A sociomaterial approach enables researchers to better understand the “black box” of everyday academic practice. Such an approach holds the promise of better support for academics in negotiating the demands of discipline, department and university without overwork and systemic exploitation.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Basil P. Tucker and Stefan Schaltegger

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast perceptions about the research-practice “gap” as it may apply within management accounting, from the perspective of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast perceptions about the research-practice “gap” as it may apply within management accounting, from the perspective of professional accounting bodies in Australia and Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings reported in this paper is based on the collection and analysis of data from interviews with 19 senior representatives from four Australian Professional bodies and 14 representatives of German Professional accounting bodies.

Findings

In Australia and Germany, there exist common as well as unique barriers preventing a more effective engagement of academic research with practice. Common to both countries is the perception that the communication of research represents a major barrier. In Australia, practitioner access to academic research is seen to be a principal obstacle; in Germany, the relevance of topics researched by academics is perceived to represent a significant barrier to academic research informing practice.

Research limitations/implications

This paper directly engages with, and extends recent empirically based research into the extent to which academic research may “speak” to management accounting practice. It extricates both common and specific barriers contributing to the oft-quoted “research-practice gap” in management accounting, and points to the pivotal nature of an intermediary to act as a conduit between academics and practice.

Originality/value

By investigating this issue in two quite different cultural, educational, academic and practice contexts, this paper provides much-needed empirical evidence about the nature, extent and pervasiveness of the perceived research-practice gap in management accounting, and provides a basis for further investigation of this important topic.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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