Challenges and Controversies in Management Research

Challenges and Controversies in Management Research

Challenges and Controversies in Management Research

Challenges and Controversies in Management Research

Synopsis

Challenges and Controversies in Management Research explores the history and cultural context, current issues and controversies and potential development of research in the field of management. The collection of essays is written by scholars of international standing, and the chapters address the development of management research in one or another continent, the need for global collaboration, the current state of management research and the development of the business school setting in which that research takes place. Factors affecting management research are explored in detail, giving consideration to the relationship between teaching, ethical conduct, publication, quality audits, collegiality and research. Contributions in the book also explore the development and usefulness of theories in management research and consider the relevance of management research and its applicability for management practice, policy-makers and the voluntary sector. A final section of contributions explores the future challenges for management research including the realization of reflexivity, the enduring gender bias of the management field, the future of theory, the patterns of development of new areas of management research and the need to manage large databases.

Excerpt

A book entitled Challenges and Controversies in Management Research could be an extensive text. Informed by diverse disciplinary perspectives, epistemological traditions and methodological approaches, with a large potential practitioner audience, it is unsurprising that the development of management research—and the business schools with which it has been associated—has been fired by ongoing controversies and challenges. Issues such as the potential beneficiaries of management research, the quality of management research and the impact of globalization are examples of contemporary discussions that seem to trouble management researchers and commentators. At least one would think so to look at the reflection upon the discipline that can be seen in regular special issues of the key journals in the field during the last ten years. Examples include the British Journal of Management (2001) special issue entitled Facing the Future: The Nature and Purpose of Management Research Re-Assessed, where the focus was upon ‘what is the nature and purpose of management research and in which direction should it be moving?’ (Hodgkinson 2001: S1). Other discussions of purpose have focused particularly on the relevance versus rigour debate within management research, for example, the Journal of Management Studies (2009). Furthermore, the Academy of Management Journal in 2006 asked the question: What makes management research interesting, and why does it matter? In that special issue Bartunek et al. (2006) draw attention to the importance of interest as an evaluation criterion. Similar discussions have also focused on the purpose and future of the business schools where much management research is located, for example, the 2009 special issue of Management Decision and the 2010 special issue of the British Journal of Management, entitled Making the Business School More Critical, edited by Currie, Knights and Starkey. These debates build upon a long tradition of critique about the nature of management research (e.g., Whitley 1984; Tranfield and Starkey 1998) and the role of business schools (e.g., Ghoshal 2005; Mintzberg 2004; Pfeffer and Fong 2002). As Currie et al. (2010) suggest, they become even more relevant in the current economic and financial crisis.

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