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: "instead of promoting top-tier academic journal publication as the highest benchmark, business schools should encourage the adoption of multiple models of academic inquiry coexisting on equal footing. Publishing in scholarly journals should not “count” more than writing case studies or developing industry notes for teaching tools"..."we have argued that a discrepancy between business research and business practice exists and is widening. Further research is needed to evaluate the magnitude
of this discrepancy."
Canadian Journal of Higher Education
Revue canadienne d’enseignement supérieur
Volume 43, No. 1, 2013, pages 115-128
The Great Divide Between Business School Research and Business Practice
Isabelle Dostaler, Concordia University
Thomas J. Tomberlin, Carleton University