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Forces for and forces against Vagaries of - and capacity building for - practice relevant research

Huxham, Chris (2009) Forces for and forces against Vagaries of - and capacity building for - practice relevant research. Journal of Management Development, 28 (8). pp. 694-700. ISSN 0262-1711

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the forces which militate against building capacity for research in business and management that satisfies the double-hurdle criteria of academic rigour and relevance to practice, despite strong pressures in favour of it. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is a reflective piece based on a small number of interviews with researchers, and a variety of initiatives and events in the business and management environment. Findings - Forces for practice relevant research include rhetorical statements from high-profile academics, government, the research councils, and many business and management researchers. Forces against it relate principally to editorial and reviewer processes relating to journal publication and grant awards. Modes of academically rigorous, practice relevant research actually carried out are highly varied - some variations are discussed - but these are not widely understood by funding councils, editors, reviewers, or even by researchers working in different modes of such research. Originality/value - The principal point of this paper is a call for capacity building to develop in the community an understanding of the nature of rigour in different modes of practice relevant and cumulative research. This contrasts with, but is in addition to, more traditional calls for effort to be applied to the further development and promulgation of practice relevant research approaches themselves.