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Book part

Simonne Vermeylen

This paper proposes to rethink the concepts of relevance and usefulness and their relation to the theory–practice gap in management research.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes to rethink the concepts of relevance and usefulness and their relation to the theory–practice gap in management research.

Methodology/approach

On the basis of the cognitive-linguistic relevance theory or inferential pragmatics, supplemented by insights from information science, we define relevance as a general conceptual category, while reserving usefulness for the instrumental application in a particular case.

Findings

There is no reason to hold onto the difference between theoretical and practical relevance, nor to distinguish between instrumental and conceptual relevance.

Originality/value

This novel approach will help to clarify the confusion in the field and contribute to a better understanding of the added value of management research.

Details

A Focused Issue on Building New Competences in Dynamic Environments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-274-6

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Article

Jeltje van der Meer‐Kooistra and Ed Vosselman

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how practical relevance of management accounting knowledge relates to research paradigms and theoretical pluralism.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how practical relevance of management accounting knowledge relates to research paradigms and theoretical pluralism.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in nature.

Findings

As the management accounting discipline is considered to be an applied discipline, a number of authors claim that management accounting research should develop relevant theory that can be used in practice. This call for increased practical relevance of management accounting knowledge interrelates with a debate on the desirability of theoretical pluralism and paradigm diversity in management accounting research. Drawing on the work of Nicolai and Seidl, the paper distinguishes different forms of practical relevance, and analyses the effects of theoretical pluralism on these different forms. The paper argues how theoretical pluralism particularly enhances relevance in a conceptual sense rather than an instrumental sense. The conceptual relevance of research may further be enhanced by interpretive research that acknowledges complexity and that has the potential to challenge the performativity of mainstream management accounting knowledge, without challenging the pursuit of efficiency as such. This is different from critical research. The instrumental relevance stemming from mainstream management accounting research entails de‐contextualization and simplification, and might create unintended self‐fulfilling prophecies.

Research limitations/implications

The paper broadens the concept of relevance so that it includes conceptual relevance and legitimative relevance. It links these concepts of relevance to three research paradigms: a mainstream paradigm, an interpretive paradigm and a critical paradigm. For each paradigm, relevance is related to the use of theory.

Originality/value

The paper broadens the concept of relevance and advocates the pursuit of conceptual relevance, particularly through interpretive research.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part

Phillip C. Nell, Benoit Decreton and Björn Ambos

With this chapter, we seek to shed light on the question how headquarters (HQ) can cope with geographic distance and effectively transfer relevant knowledge to their…

Abstract

With this chapter, we seek to shed light on the question how headquarters (HQ) can cope with geographic distance and effectively transfer relevant knowledge to their subsidiaries. By constructing a mediating model, we aim at disentangling the effects of geographic distance on the relevance of HQ knowledge to their subsidiaries, via the creation of a shared context between HQ and their subsidiaries. We tested our hypotheses using partial least squares based structural equation modelling on a sample of 124 European subsidiaries. We did not find a significant direct relationship between geographic distance and HQ knowledge relevance. Yet, we found support for our mediation hypotheses that geographic distance makes it more difficult for HQ to establish a shared normative and operational context, but that both dimensions of shared context can help HQ to transfer relevant knowledge to their subsidiaries. We contribute to the research on knowledge flows in multinational corporations (MNC) by investigating knowledge relevance directly rather than knowledge flows as such. We also advance our understanding of shared context in HQ-subsidiary relationships by showing that shared context comprises an operational and a normative dimension. Moreover, we contribute to social learning theory in basing our reasoning on the idea that shared practices and social relationships help overcoming distance to manage knowledge transfer more effectively. Finally, we add to the research of distance in international business by conceptualizing space, organizational context and knowledge transfer in one comprehensive model.

Details

Perspectives on Headquarters-subsidiary Relationships in the Contemporary MNC
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-370-2

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Book part

Martine R. Haas and Wendy Ham

Strategy scholars have long argued that breakthrough innovation is generated by recombining knowledge from distant domains. Even if firms have the ability to access and…

Abstract

Strategy scholars have long argued that breakthrough innovation is generated by recombining knowledge from distant domains. Even if firms have the ability to access and absorb knowledge from distant domains, however, they may fail to pay attention to such knowledge because it is seemingly irrelevant to their tasks. We draw attention to this problem of knowledge relevance and develop a theoretical model to illuminate how ideas from seemingly irrelevant (i.e., peripheral) domains can generate breakthrough innovation through the cognitive process of analogical reasoning, as well as the conditions under which this is more likely to occur. We situate our theoretical model in the context of teams in order to develop insight into the microfoundations of knowledge recombination within firms. Our model reveals paradoxical requirements for teams that help to explain why breakthrough innovation is so difficult.

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Article

Martin Svanberg

Rigor and practical relevance are the foundations for logistics and supply chain management (LSCM) as an applied discipline. Whereas there are well-founded criteria for…

Abstract

Purpose

Rigor and practical relevance are the foundations for logistics and supply chain management (LSCM) as an applied discipline. Whereas there are well-founded criteria for establishing methodological rigor, researchers must provide their own credible logic as to why their papers can influence practice. Accordingly, this paper aims to develop guidelines for establishing practical relevance in research papers.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review of LSCM, marketing, operations management and management journals forms the foundation for these guidelines.

Findings

Relevance criteria are identified; research should be problem-driven, timely and important, and findings should be implementable, nonobvious, novel and not too costly. Measures for researchers demonstrating the fulfillment of these criteria are identified as practitioner input, gray literature, funding, practitioner involvement and feedback. Researchers should also clearly articulate both problem relevance and the relevance of their findings.

Research limitations/implications

A lack of practical relevance is among the reasons for the rejection of papers by LSCM journals, but researchers can overcome this obstacle using these guidelines.

Practical implications

At a metalevel, this paper contributes to research with greater practical relevance.

Originality/value

Practical relevance is emphasized in the editorials of LSCM journals but has not yet been fully conceptualized from the authors' perspective.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 50 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article

Joanne Hamet and Sylvie Michel

The “relevance literature” often moans that the publications of top-ranked academic journals are hardly relevant to managers, while actionable research struggles to get…

Abstract

Purpose

The “relevance literature” often moans that the publications of top-ranked academic journals are hardly relevant to managers, while actionable research struggles to get published. The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical explanation of this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses the relevance debate in management science through the theoretical frame of the theories of the firm.

Findings

This paper proposes that business organizations should tend to internalize specific applied research. Applied to management research, this could explain why the “market” for academic publications might be more relevant for generalizable and conceptual research than for applied, contextualized research.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual. However, it provides a new prospect to the rigor-relevance debate and to the ranking of researchers and business schools.

Practical implications

Business organizations should tend to internalize specific, applied research. Consequently, academic publications should concentrate on generalizable, “Mode 1” research.

Social implications

The conclusions could justify the evolution of the rating of universities and researchers towards a multi-dimensional rating, including measures of the socio-economic impact of the research, instead on focusing on academic publications only.

Originality/value

This paper offers a new point of view on the rigor-relevance debate. It supports the idea that applied and conceptual research are different forms of knowledge and should be “traded”, produced and rewarded differently.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article

I.B. Mmobuosi

The purpose of this article is to establish empirically what may motivate the manager to learn, that is, keep him interested in a course for which he has been sponsored by…

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to establish empirically what may motivate the manager to learn, that is, keep him interested in a course for which he has been sponsored by himself or another. The importance of this sort of study lies in the fact that its results can have implications for the design and development of courses. In other words, the trainer or educator should continually be reminded of the needs of the manager in a learning situation.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article

Rogerio Victer

The purpose of this paper is to refine the resource-based theory of the firm. It intends to deal with key theoretical issues affecting the development of a model that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to refine the resource-based theory of the firm. It intends to deal with key theoretical issues affecting the development of a model that empirically captures the relevance of knowledge to performance. The research task is not only to look inside the firm in search of candidates for a strategic resource, but also to better understand how a resource becomes strategic as the consequence of specific attributes. This approach has the potential of providing a relevant insight into the characteristics that resources must possess as well as a more effective way to compare their relative relevance to competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses are tested by a comprehensive panel data of 29 AIDS/HIV drugs from 1997 to 2010, covering the performance trajectory of more than 90 percent of all branded products in this segment.

Findings

Based on the VRIO framework (Barney 1991, 2001a), which asserts that resources need to be valuable, rare, inimitable, and difficult to organize in order to become a source of sustainable competitive advantage, the paper derives seven empirical constructs of technological knowledge. Five of these constructs are statistically significant, explaining up to 36 percent of the variance in sales outcomes. Results show that the most important resource attributes are value and organizational capabilities. Inimitability is partially relevant, but rarity is not.

Practical implications

Results suggest that the best way to generate competitive advantage is through continuous improvement of technological knowledge. This conclusion shows that knowledge heterogeneity is more strategically relevant to performance than knowledge immobility.

Originality/value

Differently from previous papers, instead of measuring how much a resource (or its accumulated stock) influences competitive advantage, this paper identifies and measures the attributes through which the resource matters to market outcomes. It is not the resource itself, but its strategic attributes which actually generate differential benefits to firms.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 52 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Susanne Durst and Stefan Gueldenberg

Taking company succession as an alternative means of embarking on an entrepreneurial activity, the aim of this study is to explore those intangible assets that are

Abstract

Purpose

Taking company succession as an alternative means of embarking on an entrepreneurial activity, the aim of this study is to explore those intangible assets that are regarded as attractive from the viewpoints of external successors. Thereby, the focal point is on the preparation stage in which promising companies are identified and scrutinised.

Design/methodology/approach

The strategy of research behind this paper is the application of a mixed methods approach that is divided into an internet‐mediated questionnaire and a series of in depth interviews (given priority).

Findings

The findings suggest that intangible assets have a notable influence on the intention of an external successor to take over a company. This would suggest that the traditional issues considered with regard to company succession, such as tax, legal and financial aspects, should be extended to include intangible aspects. The findings are summarized by proposing a framework for the role of intangibles in external succession, thereby highlighting critical intangibles as perceived by external successors.

Research limitations/implications

This explorative study is by no means exhaustive; however it is regarded as a valuable fundament for further research activities associated with the role of intangible assets in terms of company succession, particularly external succession.

Practical implications

The framework appears to be a valuable tool for understanding the importance of intangibles in external company succession in general and particularly their influence on external successors' business acquisition intentions. The findings are particularly considered as helpful for incumbent‐owners who plan to sell off their companies.

Originality/value

The study's findings can be viewed as a new perspective on company succession as it highlights the intangible assets that make a company attractive to external successors. Given the increasing number of small to medium‐sized enterprises waiting to be transferred to new owners, these findings are highly important as they provide a more holistic view of the dynamics of company succession (and external succession in particular).

Details

VINE, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article

Muhammad Saleem Sumbal, Eric Tsui, Susanne Durst, Muhammad Shujahat, Irfan Irfan and Syed Muhammad Ali

The purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework on knowledge loss in a manufacturing sector based on three aspects: likelihood of knowledge loss, critical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual framework on knowledge loss in a manufacturing sector based on three aspects: likelihood of knowledge loss, critical areas of knowledge loss and relevance of each of these knowledge areas in terms of utilization and alignment with organizational goals and strategy. Such a conceptual framework can be helpful to the practicing managers in understanding the types of knowledge that is lost of a given departing employee and thus deciding on a measure to retain the critical employees or capture their knowledge before they leave.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, data has been collected from a multinational battery manufacturing company based in Hong Kong. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted and analyzed through CAQDAS ATLAS.ti to generate the themes which were then used to develop the conceptual framework.

Findings

The findings revealed that the likelihood factors of knowledge loss in the manufacturing sector include layoffs, retirement, immigration and job change. The critical areas of knowledge loss comprise the knowledge of relationships and networks, especially with the customers and suppliers, the technical knowledge (battery and process technology) and knowledge of management, among others. The relevance of each of these knowledge areas needs to be determined through proper analysis whether these knowledge areas are needed in future projects, up to date and aligned with organizational goals and strategy along with other factors.

Research limitations/implications

Using the developed conceptual framework, managers and executives can identify critical employees in the manufacturing sector and accordingly take some appropriate measures to retain their knowledge. Caution should be taken while applying the findings of this study in other industries and context.

Originality/value

This paper is an attempt to reduce the dearth of empirical studies by exploring knowledge retention in the manufacturing sector, especially in the development of proper conceptual frameworks to assess the potential knowledge loss of employees.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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