A little off-beat for some readers of this blog, but the Economist.com examines Business schools and research in a recent article called “Practically irrelevant?” and asks whether any money spent on ‘business research’ is actually worthwhile!
LIKE other academic institutions, business schools are judged by the quality of the research carried out by their faculties. At the same time they mean to equip their students for the real world, however that is defined. Whether academic research actually produces anything that is useful to the practice of business, or even whether it is its job to do so, are questions that can provoke vigorous arguments on campus.
Of course, academics have long had to justify, in practical terms, why they spend or make money the way they do, so there has been a continual fluctuation between the practical and theoretical in many other disciplines, as well.
I won’t submit to the view that research is a waste of time, money and energy, but then on the other hand, not all research is a valid use of the time, money and energy available, either!
What do you think? Should ‘b-schools’ do any research at all or just teach?