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The practical relevance of management research: turning the debate on relevance into a rigorous scientific research program


Kieser, Alfred; Nicolai, Alexander; Seidl, David (2015). The practical relevance of management research: turning the debate on relevance into a rigorous scientific research program. The Academy of Management Annals, 15(1):143-233.

Abstract

How and to what extent practitioners use the scientific results of management studies is of great concern to management scholars and has given rise to a considerable body of literature. In this paper, we provide a systematic overview of the different streams of this literature, highlighting its strengths and shortcomings. We distinguish between two types of literature. On the one hand, there is the programmatic literature, comprising of studies that take the perceived lack of practical relevance as their main point of departure and suggest particular ways of dealing with the issue of relevance in management research. On the other hand, there is the largely neglected descriptive literature, which examines the interplay between management research and management practice. Despite the interesting insights both bodies of literature provide, progress in this area of research is seriously hampered by the fragmentation of the research and the lack of scientific rigor that characterizes many of the studies it comprises. We argue that, in order to advance research on the practical relevance of management studies, it is necessary to move away from the partly ideological and often uncritical and unscientific debate on immediate solutions that the programmatic literature puts forward and toward a more rigorous and systematic research program to investigate how the results of scientific research are utilized in management practice.

Abstract

How and to what extent practitioners use the scientific results of management studies is of great concern to management scholars and has given rise to a considerable body of literature. In this paper, we provide a systematic overview of the different streams of this literature, highlighting its strengths and shortcomings. We distinguish between two types of literature. On the one hand, there is the programmatic literature, comprising of studies that take the perceived lack of practical relevance as their main point of departure and suggest particular ways of dealing with the issue of relevance in management research. On the other hand, there is the largely neglected descriptive literature, which examines the interplay between management research and management practice. Despite the interesting insights both bodies of literature provide, progress in this area of research is seriously hampered by the fragmentation of the research and the lack of scientific rigor that characterizes many of the studies it comprises. We argue that, in order to advance research on the practical relevance of management studies, it is necessary to move away from the partly ideological and often uncritical and unscientific debate on immediate solutions that the programmatic literature puts forward and toward a more rigorous and systematic research program to investigate how the results of scientific research are utilized in management practice.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:28 Aug 2019 15:37
Last Modified:16 Apr 2020 00:04
Publisher:Academy of Management
ISSN:1941-6520
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/19416520.2015.1011853
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:12121

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