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  • Features a who's who of leading management scholars

  • Takes a stand on a major controversy in academia: should organizational research aspire to be relevant to practitioners?

  • A sequel to the seminal book, Doing Research That is Useful for Theory and Practice, also edited by Ed Lawler, Susan Mohrman, and Associates


For decades there has been an ongoing, at times heated, debate over how relevant to real-world organizational concerns academic organizational research should be. The contributors to this book argue that in order to keep organizational research relevant to both theory and practice, research must deviate from the orthodoxy of traditional positivistic research. The true test of whether knowledge is useful to practice is not whether it is “theoretically” impactful but whether it is theoretically impactful and results in improved organizational effectiveness.

The contributing authors were selected for their demonstrated ability to conduct useful research and their distinguished academic careers. Part I of the book features active scholars who describe the choices they make and the tactics they employ to ensure that their work advances both theory and practice. In part II, four highly respected researchers reflect on how they approached their careers so that they could have a broad impact on practice and still maintain academic rigor. Part III describes pathways to bring academic knowledge to practice—working with consultancies, executive PhD programs, OD specialists, and professional associations, as well as framing academic concepts in ways that are attention-grabbing, memorable, and credible to practitioners. Part IV looks at institutional constraints and enablers: the prospects for useful research in traditional academic settings like business schools, peer-reviewed journals, and the Academy of Management. Finally, part V sums up the themes of the book and the challenges and opportunities facing researchers who aspire to do research that advances both theory and practice.

Contributors: Jean Bartunek, Michael Beer, George Benson, John Boudreau, Wayne Cascio, Thomas Cummings, Amy Edmondson, Lynda Gratton, J. Richard Hackman, Gary Latham, Phillip Mirvis, Allan M. Mohrman, David Nadler, James O’Toole, C. K. Prahalad, Denise Rousseau, Sara Rynes, Edgar Schein, Ramakrishnan V. Tenkasi, Michael Tushman, Andrew Van de Ven, Ruth Wageman, Ian Ziskin