The nature of knowledge in business schools

R. Chia, R. Holt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    105 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We contribute to the debate on the future of business schools by investigating the nature of knowledge being produced and taught within them. We identify how a preference for abstract causal explanation over practical knowledge, and for reason and truth over what works, has led to a privileging of detached contemplation over involved action. Despite repeated calls to make management research and education more "relevant" to practice, many business schools continue to privilege rigor and precision as the arbiters of authoritative knowledge using representational devices such as conceptual models, case studies, and other formal classifications. We argue that risks of ignorance and detachment emerge from this singular attachment to knowledge-by-representation in business schools. We identify the need for an alternative, accompanying form of knowledge associated with the art of management that can only be transmitted through exemplary behaviour within the business education process. We call this knowledge-by-exemplification: one that is demonstrative, creative and unreflectively performative, transmitted directly through the demeanor, style, and mannerism of management educators rather than through the content of lectures. For us, it is this relatively unnoticed aspect of the education process that provides one possible answer to the predicament of relevance facing business schools.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages471-486
    Number of pages15
    JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
    Volume7
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

    Fingerprint

    business school
    management
    business education
    privilege
    education
    educator
    Business schools

    Keywords

    • knowledge
    • business school
    • organisations
    • management studies
    • research

    Cite this

    Chia, R. ; Holt, R. / The nature of knowledge in business schools. In: Academy of Management Learning and Education. 2008 ; Vol. 7, No. 4. pp. 471-486.
    @article{6f1a7e6ccabb4947a24bed3428257075,
    title = "The nature of knowledge in business schools",
    abstract = "We contribute to the debate on the future of business schools by investigating the nature of knowledge being produced and taught within them. We identify how a preference for abstract causal explanation over practical knowledge, and for reason and truth over what works, has led to a privileging of detached contemplation over involved action. Despite repeated calls to make management research and education more {"}relevant{"} to practice, many business schools continue to privilege rigor and precision as the arbiters of authoritative knowledge using representational devices such as conceptual models, case studies, and other formal classifications. We argue that risks of ignorance and detachment emerge from this singular attachment to knowledge-by-representation in business schools. We identify the need for an alternative, accompanying form of knowledge associated with the art of management that can only be transmitted through exemplary behaviour within the business education process. We call this knowledge-by-exemplification: one that is demonstrative, creative and unreflectively performative, transmitted directly through the demeanor, style, and mannerism of management educators rather than through the content of lectures. For us, it is this relatively unnoticed aspect of the education process that provides one possible answer to the predicament of relevance facing business schools.",
    keywords = "knowledge, business school, organisations, management studies, research",
    author = "R. Chia and R. Holt",
    year = "2008",
    month = "12",
    language = "English",
    volume = "7",
    pages = "471--486",
    journal = "Academy of Management Learning and Education",
    issn = "1537-260X",
    number = "4",

    }

    The nature of knowledge in business schools. / Chia, R.; Holt, R.

    In: Academy of Management Learning and Education, Vol. 7, No. 4, 12.2008, p. 471-486.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The nature of knowledge in business schools

    AU - Chia, R.

    AU - Holt, R.

    PY - 2008/12

    Y1 - 2008/12

    N2 - We contribute to the debate on the future of business schools by investigating the nature of knowledge being produced and taught within them. We identify how a preference for abstract causal explanation over practical knowledge, and for reason and truth over what works, has led to a privileging of detached contemplation over involved action. Despite repeated calls to make management research and education more "relevant" to practice, many business schools continue to privilege rigor and precision as the arbiters of authoritative knowledge using representational devices such as conceptual models, case studies, and other formal classifications. We argue that risks of ignorance and detachment emerge from this singular attachment to knowledge-by-representation in business schools. We identify the need for an alternative, accompanying form of knowledge associated with the art of management that can only be transmitted through exemplary behaviour within the business education process. We call this knowledge-by-exemplification: one that is demonstrative, creative and unreflectively performative, transmitted directly through the demeanor, style, and mannerism of management educators rather than through the content of lectures. For us, it is this relatively unnoticed aspect of the education process that provides one possible answer to the predicament of relevance facing business schools.

    AB - We contribute to the debate on the future of business schools by investigating the nature of knowledge being produced and taught within them. We identify how a preference for abstract causal explanation over practical knowledge, and for reason and truth over what works, has led to a privileging of detached contemplation over involved action. Despite repeated calls to make management research and education more "relevant" to practice, many business schools continue to privilege rigor and precision as the arbiters of authoritative knowledge using representational devices such as conceptual models, case studies, and other formal classifications. We argue that risks of ignorance and detachment emerge from this singular attachment to knowledge-by-representation in business schools. We identify the need for an alternative, accompanying form of knowledge associated with the art of management that can only be transmitted through exemplary behaviour within the business education process. We call this knowledge-by-exemplification: one that is demonstrative, creative and unreflectively performative, transmitted directly through the demeanor, style, and mannerism of management educators rather than through the content of lectures. For us, it is this relatively unnoticed aspect of the education process that provides one possible answer to the predicament of relevance facing business schools.

    KW - knowledge

    KW - business school

    KW - organisations

    KW - management studies

    KW - research

    UR - http://www.aom.pace.edu/amle/v7n4.html

    UR - http://aom.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&issn=1537-260X&volume=7&issue=4&spage=471

    M3 - Article

    VL - 7

    SP - 471

    EP - 486

    JO - Academy of Management Learning and Education

    T2 - Academy of Management Learning and Education

    JF - Academy of Management Learning and Education

    SN - 1537-260X

    IS - 4

    ER -