This piece was originally posted in Management INK, a blog highlighting top scholarship and catering to academics, researchers and practitioners in the management and business fields. We present it now as part of the #AcWriMo series on MethodSpace.
In the June 2015 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly, Editor-in-Chief Gerald F. Davis asks, “What is Organizational Research For?” In his article, Davis asks whose interests management research serves and whose interests should it serve? For research to shape decisions for public benefit, he adds “we need to make sure we know the constituency that research is serving.
Organizational research is guided by standards of what journals will publish and what gets rewarded in scholarly careers. This system can promote novelty rather than truth and impact rather than coherence. The advent of big data, combined with our current system of scholarly career incentives, is likely to yield a high volume of novel papers with sophisticated econometrics and no obvious prospect of cumulative knowledge development. Moreover, changes in the world of organizations are not being met with changes in how and for whom organizational research is done. It is time for a dialogue on who and what organizational research is for and how that should shape our practice.