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Useful Research

Book Description

This collection examines how useful research can be achieved and argues that in order to keep organizational research relevant to theory and practice, the approach must deviate from the orthodoxy of positivistic, pure research approaches. The contributing authors were selected for their demonstrated ability to conduct useful research, and they bring their unique professional experience to their chapters by describing the choices they make and the tactics they employ. The core message of this book is that in order to conduct research that is useful, researchers must learn from practice and intentionally position their work so that it finds a pathway to practice. While each chapter can stand alone, the book is crafted to provide multiple complementary perspectives on the topic of useful research. It does an outstanding job of describing what it takes to bridge the gap between theory and practice. It goes beyond advocacy, theoretical debate, and restatements of the problem to focus on the types of research methods that produce useful research. Topics include crafting research programs to yield useful knowledge, academic careers that yield useful knowledge, pathways to practice, institutional agents such as MBA programs and journals.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. One: Research for Theory and Practice: Framing the Challenge
  7. Part I Exemplars of Useful Research
    1. Two: Crossing Boundaries to Investigate Problems in the Field: An Approach to Useful Research
    2. Three: Collaborative Organization Design Research at the Center for Effective Organizations
    3. Four: A Ten-Year Journey of Cooperation
    4. Five: Commentary: Walking on Three Legs
  8. Part II Bodies of Work That Have Influenced Theory and Practice
    1. Six: Rigor and Relevance in Organizational Research: Experiences, Reflections, and a Look Ahead
    2. Seven: Can Relevance and Rigor Coexist?
    3. Eight: Making a Difference and Contributing Useful Knowledge: Principles Derived from Life As a Scholar-Practitioner
    4. Nine: On Knowing and Doing: A Perspective on the Synergies between Research and Practice
  9. Part III Pathways: Research to Practice
    1. Ten: Academic-Consultant Collaboration: Doing Research across the Divide
    2. Eleven: Integrating Theory to Inform Practice: Insights from the Practitioner-Scholar
    3. Twelve: Organization Development Scholar-Practitioners: Between Scholarship and Practice
    4. Thirteen: Professional Associations: Supporting Useful Research
    5. Fourteen: Sticky Findings: Research Evidence Practitioners Find Useful
    6. Fifteen: Popular and Influential Management Books
    7. Sixteen: Commentary: Observations Concerning Pathways for Doing “Useful Research”
    8. Seventeen: Practitioner Perspectives: Comments from a Panel Discussion
  10. Part IV Barriers and Enablers
    1. Eighteen: How Business Schools Shape (Misshape) Management Research
    2. Nineteen: Counterpoint: Now Is a Great Time for Conducting Relevant Research!
    3. Twenty: On the Verge of Extinction: Some Final Reptilian Thoughts
  11. Part V Putting It All Together
    1. Twenty-One: Reflections on Research for Theory and Practice: From an Engaged Scholarship Perspective
    2. Twenty-Two: What We Have Learned
  12. Acknowledgments
  13. Index
  14. About the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO)
  15. About the Editors
  16. Footnotes
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