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Paper info: The Pursuit of Relevance in Interaction and Networks Research


The Pursuit of Relevance in Interaction and Networks Research


Peter Turnbull
University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
Peter Turnbull and
Ross Brennan
Middlesex University
United Kingdom
Ross Brennan

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 16th IMP-conference in Bath, U.K in 2000.


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The paper investigates the perceptions of researchers working in interaction and networksresearch concerning the relevance of academic research in the field to practical managementdecision-making. Managerial relevance was defined along five dimensions ? level ofinterest, potential practical value, lead-time, development required, and overall relevance.Perceptions of relevance were measured using a face-to-face questionnaire administered toresearchers in the field. The perceived relevance of their own work and of work presented atthe 15th IMP conference were measured. A ?relevance gap? was identified, with researchersperceiving their own work to be of much greater practical relevance than the conferenceproceedings. Hypotheses to explain differences in perceptions of relevance are tested.Implications for the research agenda are considered, in terms of making research morerelevant, and communicating more effectively with managers.