© Academy of Management Learning & Education, June 1, 2012
by Dean Roger Martin of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Pearce and Huang have written an article that chronicles the low and declining incidence of actionable research in two of the top managerial journals. In this paper, I quantify the cost of production of not-actionable articles, explain why I think that their production has flourished, discuss the difficulty of individual scholars speaking to both business and academic audiences, and provide a thought on how to stimulate production of actionable business research output.
I estimate that the cost of producing not-actionable “A-journal” articles is on the order of US$600 million per year. It is not surprising to me that not-actionable article production has increased in that the “customers” for these articles are primarily other academics and not business people. I demonstrate that for this reason, it proves very difficult for a given scholar to simultaneously speak authoritatively to both fellow academics and business people. Finally, I suggest that to stimulate production of actionable business research output, the Academy needs to harness the power of case-based research methods to identify important actionable business issues and the meticulousness of scientific methodologies to generate rigorous actionable prescriptions for business people...