In their 2005 Harvard Business Review article, Bennis and O’Toole described business schools as being “on the wrong track” as a result of their focus on so-called scientific research. Some commentators argue that business schools have slowly lost their relevance since the end of the 1950s when they undertook a major overhaul in response to the harsh criticism of the Ford and the Carnegie Foundations on the state of theory and research in business administration. Inspired by Khurana’s (2007) book on the development of American business schools, this article describes the debate on the relevance of scientific business research that can be found in the popular business press and the academic literature, and suggests a number of structural and cultural changes to increase the relevance of business research and its impact on practice.
The authors: "Just as the teaching assignment of medical professors is adjusted to allow them to practise medicine, business professors could divide their time between teaching and practice, and should be encouraged to use sabbaticals as opportunities to assume roles in businesses. Although this solution could appear unworkable because of the lack of experience many PhD professors have in the “real world” of management and business, we believe that industrial sabbaticals could provide academics with an opportunity to improve their knowledge about business practice and for practitioners to reflect on the way they conduct their affairs."
The great divide between business schools research and business practiceIsabelle Dostaler, Thomas J. Tomberlin
Canadian Journal of Higher Education Revue canadienne d’enseignement supérieur Volume 43, No. 1, 2013, pages 115-128