Is management research relevant ? A systematic analysis of the rigor-relevance debate in top-tier journals (1994–2013)
Since the field of management science came into existence, many scholars have raised questions about the rigor of the knowledge produced by management research about and the relevance of this knowledge to practice. In this article, we question the causes of the continuation of the rigor-relevance debate within management science. To do this, we build on science and technology studies and on the analytical framework of scientific controversies. By analyzing 253 articles published in 11 top tier journals between 1994 and 2013, we identify four typical positions on rigor and relevance in management research: gatekeepers’ orthodoxy, collaboration with practitioners, paradigmatic shift and refocusing on common good. Although contradictory, these positions co- exist within the debate and are constantly being repeated. This debate, which has developed within a specially adapted space in academic journals (the hybrid forum) contribute to the “scientification” of management sciences. We link these findings to the literature on scientific controversies and discuss their implications for the rigor-relevance debate.
Copyright (c) 2017 Guillaume Carton, Philippe Mouricou
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