Research

Lost in Translation? The Relevance of Organizational Studies

Much has been said and written about the perceived increasing “irrelevance” of organizational studies. Concerns about the field’s relevance were a motivating factor for the formation of the journal Organization Science in 1990. Just last year, the Academy of Management Journal published a series of articles that addressed the topic in commemoration of the journal’s 50th anniversary. But there has been very little systematic research on this subject—until now.

Professor and Associate Dean Donald Palmer and his co-authors, Brian Dick and Nathaniel Freiburger of the UC Davis Department of Sociology, have written “Rigor and Relevance in Organization Studies,” which is forthcoming in Management Inquiry alongside another paper on the subject and a commentary by Professor Ranjay Gulati of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Professor Mike Tushman of Harvard Business School.

In June Palmer will step down after six years as editor of Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ), which many consider the field’s preeminent mainstream theory journal. Palmer’s study reports preliminary results of a quantitative empirical analysis of articles published in ASQ between 1956—the year the journal was founded—and 2004.

Using precise definitions of relevance, rigor, and institutional structure as a foundation, Palmer and his co-authors argue that the popular beliefs about the steadily decreasing relevance of organizational studies scholarship appear to be inaccurate, at least in the case of papers published in ASQ. In addition, articles written by authors at management schools as opposed to those written by authors in other disciplines tended to be more relevant, according the analysis.

Seeking to contribute to the rigor-relevance debate, Palmer and his co-authors adopted the dominant viewpoint that the field’s primary audience is managers, although they note that other constituencies worthy of consideration include employees, labor unions, suppliers, customers, public policy makers and community members.

Palmer has been invited to discuss the relevancy and lack of press coverage of management research at a professional development workshop during the 2008 Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim in August. He will join R. Duane Ireland, editor of the Academy of Management Journal, Ellen Peebles, senior editor of the Harvard Business Review, and Joel Baum, editor of Strategic Organization, on a panel titled “Who are we Reaching? The Real and Intended Audiences for Business School Research,” which will also feature top editors from the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.

Commands

Twitter Feed

Loading tweets...

News Release

UC Davis Part-Time MBA Ranked in Nation’s Top 9%
Fourth Consecutive Year among U.S News & World Report's Premier Programs

Image of UC Davis Part-Time MBA Ranked in Nation’s Top 9%

(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Part-Time MBA program offered in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area is ranked among the top 9% in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings.

At No. 29, this is the fourth consecutive year the UC Davis Part-Time MBA program is among the top AACSB International-accredited part-time MBA programs surveyed. This year, there were 323 part-time MBA programs surveyed.

News Release

UC Davis Full-Time MBA Ranked among Nation’s Premier Programs for 20th Consecutive Year
MBA Programs among Top 10% in U.S.
Record Salary and Bonus

Image of UC Davis Full-Time MBA Ranked among Nation’s Premier Programs for 20th Consecutive Year

(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s Full-Time MBA program is ranked among the premier business schools in the nation for the 20th consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings released today.

U.S. News’ latest ranking places the Full-Time MBA program at No. 48, placing it among the top 10% of the 464 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International’s accredited full-time MBA programs surveyed.

Key statistics from the School’s Full-Time MBA ranking include:

News Release

UC Davis Graduate School of Management partners with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to drive technologies from lab to market

Image of UC Davis Graduate School of Management partners with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to drive technologies from lab to market

(Davis, Calif.) – With a joint goal of speeding the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories have announced a new partnership for researchers to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Spotlight Story

Vickie Sherman MBA 13 Finds Her Passion, Her Career—and Herself

Image of Vickie Sherman MBA 13 Finds Her Passion, Her Career—and Herself

What opportunities, decisions, events have shaped your professional life?

My career path has been a climb across a jungle gym rather than a tangent up a corporate ladder. As a child, I used to thumb through the three-inch JCPenney catalogue, picking out the professional women who I would grow to be. I wanted to rule the world from a corner office in a suit and heels. I wanted to shed my humble origins and become Corporate Barbie.

Spotlight Story

MBA Student Consultants Make an IMPACT
Projects Put Business Needs Front and Center

Image of MBA Student Consultants Make an IMPACT

Agilent Technologies’ Electronic Measurement Group is a $3.6 billion business that over the past decade has seen a dramatic shift in its customer base from U.S., and Western European customers to predominantly Asia-based customers. Today, the majority of the division’s revenues are generated outside of the U.S., with an increasing concentration in China.