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Let's talk: Getting business and academia to collaborate

Hughes, Tim; O'Regan, Nicholas; Wornham, David


Tim Hughes
Professor in Applied Marketing

David Wornham
Associate Lecturer - FBL BAM - UBAM0001


Purpose: Many academics have raised concerns about the growing divide between academia and practice. While more collaborative research has been called for there is a lack of research into the actual practice of academic/practitioner engagement. This research aims to explore the application of strategic management theory and the role of universities in exchanging strategic management knowledge to practice. Design/methodology/approach: In depth interviews were undertaken with practitioners, academics and experts in order to get a balance of views from different perspectives. Findings: Organizations seem to have absorbed standard, iconic strategy techniques and are not, generally, relying on academia for new insights. On the academic side there is some uncertainty about what industry "needs". The transfer of new strategy approaches can only be achieved once practitioners acknowledge the credibility of academia in contributing to practitioner related issues. Practical implications: For academics to have credibility with practitioners the context and content of collaborations need to be more proactively managed through more effective processes. The context relates to understanding the operating environment that the firm is in and how the firm's goals and objective are aligned with that environment. The content refers to the program of research or action areas selected as part of the collaboration framework. The process refers to how the collaboration is handled. Originality/value: The research takes up the challenge of exploring how academics and practitioners in strategic management can work more effectively together in order to apply the latest strategic thinking to the real-life complexities of the contemporary business world. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Hughes, T., O'Regan, N., & Wornham, D. (2009). Let's talk: Getting business and academia to collaborate. Journal of Business Strategy, 30(5), 49-56.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2009
Journal Journal of Business Strategy
Print ISSN 0275-6668
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 5
Pages 49-56
Keywords academic staff, general management, knowledge management, production management
Public URL
Publisher URL