Engaged Scholarship I
Recently we were discussing theoretical contributions and practical relevance in various ways. Moreover, in our last meeting we came across the term engaged scholarship coined by Van de Ven. In their article “Knowledge for theory and practice”, Van de Ven and Johnson (2006) propose a method of engaged scholarship in order to generate knowledge that is both relevant for practice and advancing theory. The article has been framed in an intriguing debate in the same issue of the Academy of Management Review on which we will reflect upon during the upcoming meetings.
The article can be found here.
We examine three related ways in which the gap between theory and practice has been framed. One approach views it as a knowledge transfer problem, a second argues that theory and practice represent distinct kinds of knowledge, and a third incorporates a strategy of arbitrage – leading to the view that the gap is a knowledge production problem. We propose a method of engaged scholarship for addressing the knowledge production problem, arguing that engaged scholarship not only enhances the relevance of research for practice but also contributes significantly to advancing research knowledge in a given domain.