Myopic rhetorics: reflecting epistemologically and ethically on the demand for relevance in organizational and management research
Knights, D. (2008) Myopic rhetorics: reflecting epistemologically and ethically on the demand for relevance in organizational and management research. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 7 (4). pp. 537-552. ISSN 1537-260X
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I examine the relevance debate in organizational/management research and teaching as a disciplinary rhetoric that should be treated with a degree of caution if not skepticism. For enslavement to relevance is in danger of reducing our independence as academics—something that, from my experience of working with a consortium of practitioners, I know that management values. Here, however, I do not suggest resisting relationships with management. On the contrary, I endorse them as a way of developing productive, ethical research and learning; building sources of access for research; and enhancing teaching. Also, such relationships can supplement existing research-funding resources, although it is still necessary to retain some epistemological distance from management practice while engaging with it as an ethical project.
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