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Am Relevance

Am Relevance

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Published by: davisfc50 on Jun 27, 2011
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THEPURSUITOFRELEVANCEINMANAGEMENTEDUCATION*
MieAugier**(StanfordUniversity)JamesG.March***(StanfordUniversity)
October2006WearegratefultoMarkusBecker,RobertGibbons,MichaelHay,MichaelJacobides,ThorbjornKnudsen,AndrewMarshall,WilliamPounds,JohnReed,andSidneyWinterforcommentsandconversationsonthetopic,andtorefereesfortheirhelpfulsuggestions.TheresearchonthehistoryofmanagementeducationhasbeensupportedbyagrantsfromtheSloanFoundationandtheCynthiaandJohnReedFoundation.PartsofthepaperarebasedontalksgivenattheCopenhagenBusinessSchoolandYorkUniversity.
**
*
***
 
ThePursuitofRelevanceinManagementEducation,page2
Abstract
ThehistoryofNorthAmericanmanagementeducationcanbeseenasanextendeddebateovertheproperbalancebetweenexperientialknowledgeandacademicknowledgeinthepursuitofrelevance.Weexploresomefeaturesofthatdebate,includingargumentsthatrelevanceisusuallyambiguousandmyopicandconsequentlypotentiallypernicious,andargumentsthatrelevanceasitisusuallyconceivedisfundamentallyirrelevanttothedesignofeducation.Weconsidersomeways
in
whichthedebatehascontributedtothepastandmightcontributetothefutureofbusinessschools,exploresomepossibilitiesforcomplementingthepursuitofrelevancewiththepursuitofmeaningandbeauty.
 
ThePursuitofRelevanceinManagementEducation,page3
1.Managementeducation:Acontesteddomain
Throughoutthe20
th
century,university-levelbusinessschoolsinNorthAmericawereforumsforargumentovertheappropriatecharacterofmanagementeducation,howtothinkaboutthestructuresandprogramsofsucheducation,andwhatkindofschoolssuchthinkingsuggests.Theconflictextendedtoquestionsofstaffing,organization,curriculum,andresearchprograms.
It
showsnosignsofabatingatthestartofthe21
st
century.Persistentlythroughthehistory,twocontendingexaggerationshaveframedthedebates.Thefirstproclaimsthatmanagementeducationhassacrificedrelevancetotheesotericsofacademicpurity.Thesecondbemoansthesubordinationoffundamentalknowledgeandresearchtothelimitedperspectivesofimmediateproblems.Theseproclamationsmayoftenhavebeenoverlydramatic;buttheyhavereflectedanenduringdisputeinprofessionalschoolsthatismanifestalsointhehistoriesofschoolsofmedicine(Rothstein,1987),engineering(Reynolds,1991),law(Hurst,1950),education(Labaree,2004),andpublicpolicyandadministration(Haskell,1977).
Practicalexperienceandscholarship.
1
Alloftheseschoolsexhibittensionsbetween"experiential"knowledgeand"academic"knowledge.Experientialknowledgeisderivedfrompracticalexperience
in
thefield.
It
isstoredinthewisdomofPartsofthissectiondrawfreelyfromMarch(2004).

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