Why B-schools must rethink research

February 24, 2020 9:29 AM

Have to encourage both academic research and practice-oriented research.

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  •   By Sangita Dutta Gupta

Research is important for any academic institute. It creates a body of knowledge and helps maintain the currency of academicians. Professors can bring their research to the classroom, enhancing classroom experience for students.
Research in a B-school has three audiences. One, academic audience—the outlet is peer-reviewed high-impact journals. Two, it can be helpful for students—it can result in case studies that may benefit students. Three, for practice—it can solve business or societal problems; industry can be actively involved in such research.

Management researchers must produce data that has good academic value and that can be applied by practitioners, i.e. to do practice-oriented research. The problem in India, as elsewhere, is that getting your research published in peer-reviewed journals is considered the most important for promotion and rewards. It, at times, results in professors not engaging themselves in carrying out research to solve business or societal problems.

Schools must encourage both academic and practice-oriented research, based on their priorities. Some B-schools have started giving importance to articles published in magazines, newspapers, etc, as well. B-schools also need to create/encourage research-oriented faculty by reducing their teaching or institution-building load. Going forward, it is important that all the stakeholders in the research ecosystem—researchers, promoters of B-schools, practitioners—work together to encourage a body of research that has both academic rigour and societal and business impact.

(The author is associate professor, Economics, and chairperson, Centre for Research, IFIM Business School. Views are personal)

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