Article “The Great Divide Between Business Research and Business Practice” by Dostaler and Tomberlin focused on exploring a unique problem: there is a significant gap between what is taught in business schools and what occurs in practice. While the vast majority of business school graduates possess a lot of knowledge about the sphere of publication, only a few of them are successful enough to become notable contributors to prestigious print outlets in their careers. The same issue was identified by many other researchers; for example, in her Bloomberg article, Laura Empson wrote about a “fundamental divide between management researchers and management practitioners” (par. 3) as well as the fact that such a divide is continuously growing as the pressure on business schools increases. Furthermore, Empson mentioned that modern academics sacrifice relevance for achieving rigor.
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This occurs because a large majority of business researchers have chosen to distance themselves from the sphere of applied practice to present their identities as “serious academics” (Empson par. 8). Similarly, the article pointed to the importance of implementing a pragmatic approach towards business research and unifying it with practice. The divide between rigor and relevance remains the problem to be solved; however, some researchers have pointed at the successful efforts of minimizing such a gap. The article also explored the way in which business research influences practice. In some cases, it was found that relevant academic research adds value to the career of business school graduates. However, some questions remain with regards to the relevance of such findings since there are cases when wealthy graduates of business schools make large donations to research and publication.
While the authors were successful in giving some advice as to how the divide between research and practice could be bridged (for example, by reducing the time and resources for fundamental research targeted at exploring organizational phenomena), more practical advice could be given with regards to this point. According to the findings of Eckhardt and Wetherbe, closing the gap between business school research and post-graduate practice can be successfully achieved by including business consultancy when evaluating the performance of the faculty (par. 7). Moreover, a fascinating solution can be attributed to business schools seeking out businesses that could fund new research. In this way, real businesses that have practical experience in the field can make a tremendous contribution to making research in business schools relevant apart from rigorous.
Overall, closing the gap between business research and practice is possible by enhancing the relevance of the research and collecting more evidence regarding its existence. Embracing fundamental changes with regards to how business schools approach the sphere of research can become beneficial for both practice and non-practice fields. Comparing what is taught in business schools and what occurs, in reality, can help administrators, as well as the school faculty, identify specific areas for improvement, especially with regards to making those graduates who struggle with becoming successful in the sphere of business publishing. The gap between business research and practice can also be applied to resolving the issues that exist in the evaluation of scientific research because the inability to align practice with theory could significantly impede one’s efforts in assigning a certain level of quality to scientific research.
Abadal, Ernest. “Challenges for Open Access Journals: Quantity, Quality, and Economic Sustainability.” UPF, 2013, Web.
Eckhardt, Jon, and James Wetherbe. “Making Business School Research More Relevant.” HBR. 2014.
Empson, Laura. “Research vs. Practice: Bridging the Great B-School Divide.” Bloomberg. 2011, Web.
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Tuselmann, Heinz, Rudolf Sinkovicsm, and Grigory Pishchulov. “Towards a Consolidation of Worldwide Journal Rankings – A Classification Using Random Forests and Aggregate Rating Via Data Envelopment Analysis.” Omega, vol. 51, 2015, pp. 11-23.