Why business ignores the research of business schools

Discussion in 'Educational Resources' started by nutmeg, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. "Why business ignores the (research of) business schools," by Michael Skapinker, Financial Times, January 7, 2008

    Chief executives, on the other hand, pay little attention to what business schools do or say. As long ago as 1993, Donald Hambrick, then president of the US-based Academy of Management, described the business academics' summer conference as "an incestuous closed loop", at which professors "come to talk with each other". Not much has changed. In the current edition of The Academy of Management Journal.

    . . .

    They have chosen an auspicious occasion on which to beat themselves up: this year is The Academy of Management Journal's 50th anniversary. A scroll through the most recent issues demonstrates why managers may be giving the Journal a miss. "A multi-level investigation of antecedents and consequences of team member boundary spanning behaviour" is the title of one article.

    Why do business academics write like this? The academics themselves offer several reasons. First, to win tenure in a US university, you need to publish in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. Accessibility is not the key to academic advancement.

    Similar pressures apply elsewhere. In France and Australia, academics receive bonuses for placing articles in the top academic publications. The UK's Research Assessment Exercise, which evaluates university research and ties funding to the outcome, encourages similarly arcane work.

    But even without these incentives, many business school faculty prefer to adorn their work with scholarly tables, statistics and jargon because it makes them feel like real academics. Within the university world, business schools suffer from a long-standing inferiority complex.

    The professors offer several remedies. Academic business journals should accept fact-based articles, without demanding that they propound a new theory. Professor Hambrick says that academics in other fields "don't feel the need to sprinkle mentions of theory on every page, like so much aromatic incense or holy water".

    Others talk of the need for academics to spend more time talking to managers about the kind of research they would find useful.

    As well-meaning as these suggestions are, I suspect the business school academics are missing something. Law, medical and engineering schools are subject to the same academic pressures as business schools - to publish in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and to buttress their work with the expected academic vocabulary.
  2. because it's useless
  3. poyayan


    1) If Business research has real effect, their students will form success startups to take advantage of that edge. Like a tech startup. The ability to practice what you preach is the key point.

    2) On the other hand, most CEOs are winner at internal politics. They are not necessary good at business themselves. As long as you are good at internal politics, that is the skill set that keep you in the CEO seat. Different companies has different rules to play this game.

    In a regular public company, if you can corrupt the board and fill it with board members that take your kickbacks/vision, you are king in the company. Of course, if you suck at it so much that everyone knows, corporate raiders will come in and kick your ass.

    For a private equity owned company, you can't corrupt the board because they answer to higher powers. So, you actually have to be able to do the job..:)