Business academics go ‘relevant’

Just come back from the British Academy of Management conference in Harrogate – the get-together where many Business School faculty exchange latest thinking. The theme was ‘the Academy goes relevant!’ .. if only that were true ! It seems to be a general worry amongst business school faculty in many subjects, but especially Strategy, that their research is not seen by management or consultants as useful in the real world – there’s usually a host of sessions on this theme, for example, at the biggest such jamboree : the Academy of Management, which of course is American.

But maybe I’m judging too harshly – take a look at what is available at and tell us what you find that is useful.

4 thoughts on “Business academics go ‘relevant’

  1. It all looks great in theory!!! but how many practicioners and people who work for orgs get value is the killer question. How many attent, collaborate and contribute is surely a good way of getting a sense of the relevance and cross pollenation?

  2. Good point Bruce – academic conferences are, naturally, aimed at academics, though a few practitioners show up too, mostly folk who cross between work with companies and teaching in B Schools. But some conferences are supposed to be for professionals – e.g. the Strategic Management Society has always claimed to be the ‘ABC’ society in strategy, i.e. for Academics, Business folk, Consultants. I’ve been going on and off for years, and last time checked out the audience .. of ~470 participants over 400 were academics, about 50 consultants, and less than 20 from companies! I’ll be going to the next one in Cologne in October and look forward to seeing some more real-world execs joining it.

  3. Kim –

    Good you point to the event in Cologne in October?

    @Bruce, cross pollination is about the thing we have to do in order to mix the different cultures “academics”, “consultants”, “employees”, “managers”, “students”, “PhD Students”, “Others”.

    If each of these can’t find any WIFM for themselves out of meetings, discussions, blogs, groups, then nothing will truely happen.

    So, where to start and which leverage to move?

    An very interesting question everybody is interested and yet doesn’t take time to dig deeper (into the unknown).



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