Research | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University
Brainstorming notes on a white board

Why is the management field concerned about the relevancy of its research? The reason is twofold: much of the research conducted by academic scholars is not really helping managers solve their real-world problems; and managers who could benefit from organizational research are not aware of the research, unable to operationalize the research, or, quite frankly, do not understand the research.

So what to do? The solution has generally been framed as one of increasing collaboration between scholar and practitioner. But how is this done? Two types of suggestions from scholars have either been to increase the scholar’s exposure in the organization or to increase the manager’s awareness and appreciation of scholarly research. The idea behind both of these approaches is to infuse the rigor of scientific research with the relevance of the practitioner’s problem.

A third approach that has gained international momentum since the 1990s is the engaged scholarship approach: Managers and executives become scholars through entering and completing a doctoral program designed for them, using a practitioner problem as the basis for their research. This approach aims at improved organizational effectiveness by ensuring that empirical and theoretical knowledge is rigorously produced for a relevant problem (Erwee, 2004, Aram and Salipante 2003). Read more about engaged scholarship in this white paper.