Engaged Scholarship II

Engaged Scholarship II

Our discussion on ‘engaged scholarship’ as a way to generate knowledge for both theory and practice continues. Based on Van de Ven and Johnson (2006) Knowledge for Theory and Practice, the debate furthers with the response by McKelvey (2006) and a reply from Van de Ven and Johnson (2006). So is ‘engaged scholarship’ a solution for closing the gap between theory and practice, is it a step towards it, or is it a dream?

The responding articles can be found below:
Response from McKelvey, here
Reply from Van de Ven & Johnson, here

Abstract – McKelvey (2006)
Practitioners find little value in academic research. Some see it as a knowledge flow problem; others see practitioner and academic knowledge as unrelated. Van de Ven and Johnson propose a pluralistic collective of researchers and practitioners using “engaged scholarship” and intellectual arbitrage to create practitioner-meaningful research. It’s a nice dream, but not a solution; bias, disciplines, and particularism remain. Neither discipline-centric nor practitioner-driven research offers a solution. Earthquake science offers a better model for business school research.

Abstract – Van de Ven & Johnson (2006)
Bill McKelvey’s commentary is provocative, but four points need correction. (1) The purpose of engaged scholarship is not just to advance practice but to create scientific knowledge. (2) Bill’s food chain metaphor mistakenly views the gap between science and practice as a knowledge transfer problem. (3) Bill ignores the impact of biases of researchers by only focusing on practitioner bias. (4) He considers differing views of researchers and practitioners as antithetical; we view them as complementary.