Chapter | Handbook of Collaborative Management Research | 2007

Collaborative R&D in Management: The Practical Experience of Fenix and TruePoint in Bridging the Divide Between Scientific and Managerial Goals

by Michael Beer and Niclas Adler

Abstract

The gap between theory and practice has been of concern to both practitioners and academics, yet other than pleas to close the gap with more accessible writing by academics and more interest in research by practitioners few systematic efforts have been made to close the gap. The chapter begins with a discussion of the value of R&D—arguably the single most important way a company can improve its management and organizational effectiveness. We argue that management research must occur in the same context in which findings are to be applied and that it must be collaborative if understanding of new practices and commitment to change are to be achieved. But, collaborations are not easy given differences goals of managers and academics—knowledge production by academics and improvements in effectiveness by managers. This calls for research methods that are also most effective intervention methods. We review and evaluate the efforts of Fenix, an academically based applied research institute, and TruePoint, a U.S. research based consultancy, in the context of the duality of goals and the requirement for a method that will simultaneously produce knowledge and improve management effectiveness.

Keywords: Transformation; Knowledge Management; Management; Goals and Objectives; Performance Effectiveness; Performance Improvement; Practice; Research and Development; Social and Collaborative Networks; Theory; Value; United States;

Citation:

Beer, Michael, and Niclas Adler. "Collaborative R&D in Management: The Practical Experience of Fenix and TruePoint in Bridging the Divide Between Scientific and Managerial Goals." In Handbook of Collaborative Management Research, edited by A. B. Shani, N. Adler, N. Mohrman, W. A. Pasmore, and B. Stymne. Sage Publications, 2007.