Relevant to: Research, Practice
Summary: This paper examines the relationship between theory and practice in the field of management. It focuses on the gap between theory and practice, based on the concept of arbitrage, and then proposes a method of engaged scholarship as an approach toward addressing the knowledge production problem.
Van de Ven and Johnson examine the relationship between theory and practice in the field of management. Rather than a complete review of this issue, they focus on three ways in which the gap between theory and practice has been framed and then go on to propose a method of engaged scholarship as an approach toward addressing the knowledge production problem. Their argument for engaged scholarship is based on the concept of arbitrage, in this case exploiting knowledge differences between researchers and practitioners, and in which researchers and practitioners engage pluralistically with one another to co-produce solutions to problems that cannot be solved alone. Instead of viewing organisations as data collection sites and funding sources, an engaged scholar views them as a learning workplace (idea factory) where practitioners and scholars can collaborate to co-produce knowledge on important questions and issues by testing alternative ideas and different views of a common problem. This paper has received much attention and has been widely cited. It is likely to appeal to both researchers and practitioners alike.
This annotated bibliography is based on the following article:
Van de Ven, A.H. and Johnson P.E. (2006) Knowledge for Theory and Practice. Academy of Management Review 31(4): 802 – 821.