Paper info: Beyond Research Method to Research Collaboration: Research Co-production Relationships with Practitioners
Beyond Research Method to Research Collaboration: Research Co-production Relationships with Practitioners
University of Western Sydney
University of Southern Denmark
University of Sydney
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2018.
There is ongoing debate as to whether academic research is or can be relevant to business. In this debate “relevance” usually means ensuring that the topics researched have relevance and/or that findings are communicated appropriately to non-academic communities. However, this neglects an important and often-neglected research fundamental, specifically the relationship between the researcher and the “researched”. Typically, in academic research researchers dictate the terms of the research, i.e. they choose what topics to consider and to try to get funding for, the modes of investigating, and ways findings are gathered, interpreted and communicated. Drawing on a recentlypublished book of readings about doing research WITH managers (Freytag and Young 2017), the work of a number of the contributors is used to argue that increased value is created and greater relevance is achieved by deeper research collaboration with business and government practitioners. This involves co-producing research findings that are valuable to them and the researcher as well as to the wider community, including to the research community. To be win-win, research collaborations need to include epistemological compatibility, solid theoretical grounding and quality research practices that are geared to specific, ongoing collaborative settings. The resulting research will advance not only practice-related knowledge but also the theoretical and empirical knowledge of business academia. The ways these components can be combined and balanced is the focus of our paper.