It is important to note that management is not static; rather, it is a dynamic entity whose needs changes depending on the situation at hand. It is based on this perspective that obtaining information and learning new management processes is an absolute necessity when it comes improving one’s repertoire of skills in order to deal with a variety of new issues that they encounter. It is based on this perspective that it must be questioned whether there is sufficient “dynamism” being introduced into present day studies and institutions of learning or whether the same “old” practices continue to be implemented again and again despite the changing nature of the current business market. For example, the article “A clear sense of purpose? The evolving role of the business school” showcases how these institutions of learning are important when it comes to helping potential managers develop the skills they need in order to become more effective in management. One interesting aspect that Starkey and Tempest (2008) bring to the table is that there is a need to implement new knowledge and better strategic guidelines in order to truly bring about the potential of students.
The basis behind this is connected to the aforementioned statement that the business market as we know it continues to evolve. Evidence of this can be seen in the integration of social media presence into the business planning model of corporations. This is primarily due to the manner in which the internet and communication through social media has impacted the present day global market to such an extent that it is almost essential for a business to be able to have a social media presence and be able to offset negative social media reports in order to continue to maintain the needed level of product patronage and penetrate new markets. It is with this in mind that the article “What makes management research interesting, and why does it matter” by Bartunek, Rynes & Ireland (2006) presents itself as an interesting perspective to examine when it comes to the espoused ideal of continuous improvement of management knowledge rather than stagnation through the use of “traditional” business practices in an ever evolving market landscape. Bartunek et al. (2006) argues that continued management research is essential since it enables business leaders to better understand how the present day environment has changed and how to better adapt to it. However, Bartunek et al. (2006) presents the notion that the research undertaken should be “interesting” in that it must actually be relevant to present day changes and demands within the business world and how managers can adapt to such changes. Admittedly, Bartunek et al. (2006) does have a point since relevancy does spark interest which would result in the information within a management study being more widely disseminated and read, this is the point of such studies being written in the first place.
Do note that knowledge generation for the sake of generation is not ideal since, as seen with the work of Bartunek et al., there actually has to be a sense of relevancy for it be an effective means of causing changes in commonly held management practices. It is along this line of thought that the article “Re-Focusing the Business School Agenda” by Huff and Huff (2001) comes to mind. The article mentions that better means of business management research needs to be implemented that go beyond the Mode 1 and Mode 2 practices that are currently being utilized. The authors focus on the concept of human relevance when it comes to the implementation of current business research with regard to the broader connection that businesses have with society. Aspects of this can be seen in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) research as well as operational management research that focuses on the impact corporations can have on societies (whether positive or negative in nature). What must be understood is that management research can have a definite impact on the manner in which corporations interact with society and, as a result, this can bring about greater levels of societal change or result in adverse practices which can damage society (Tranfield & Starkey, 1998).
One example of the discrepancy between the presence of management research and its lack can be seen in the case of the manufacturing industries of China and Western Europe. In the case of Western Europe, stringent policies in line with CSR have resulted in the implementation of management guidelines that focus on corporations creating a beneficial relationship with local communities (i.e. proper salaries, preserving the local environment, etc.). This attitude is primarily due to the advocacy for CSR that has been prevalent in the Western manufacturing sector due to management research involving CSR and its benefit towards corporations. On the other end of the spectrum, China has been notorious as having a relative lack of local CSR initiatives born out of management institutions that do not consider CSR as being “essential” in the grand scheme of management processes needed for companies. The end result has been the various horrific news stories filtering from the company which showcase blatant abuse of worker’s rights, prolific pollution and a general disregard for the long term consequences of their activities.
From this comparison, it can be seen that management research is necessary in order to enact positive change in society and create better business practices as explained by Tranfield & Starkey (1998). When taking all the information that has been presented into consideration, the work of Huff (2000) in the article “1999 Presidential Address: Changes in organizational knowledge production” comes to mind in which the author states that with the “explosion of knowledge” that has come about in the past few decades, comes the need to evaluate current strategic positions and the means by which knowledge is produced. The reason behind is quite simple, the means by which knowledge in management is created should change along with the evolving nature of present day business environments. By doing so, managers would be able to better prepare themselves for the various issues and situations they might encounter in the future which would enable them to do their jobs proficiently. Overall, this paper has been an eye opener when it comes to the importance of management research, the responsibilities associated with business schools when it comes to developing and imparting new knowledge in management and the need to focus on making new management research interesting and relevant. Should the various opinions and arguments in this paper be followed, it can be expected that proper change in management research and information dissemination can be developed resulting in companies that have better operational capacities.
Bartunek, J. M., Rynes, S. L., & Ireland, R. (2006). What makes management research interesting, and why does it matter?. Academy Of Management Journal, 49(1), 9-15.
Huff, A. (2000). 1999 Presidential Address: Changes in organizational knowledge production. Academy Of Management Review, 25(2), 288-293.
Huff, A., & Huff, J. (2001). Re-Focusing the Business School Agenda. British Journal Of Management, 12, 49.
Starkey, K., & Tempest, S. (2008). A clear sense of purpose? The evolving role of the business school. Journal Of Management Development, 27(4), 379-390.
Tranfield, D., & Starkey, K. (1998). The Nature, Social Organization and Promotion of Management Research: Towards Policy. British Journal Of Management, 9(4), 341.