Cunliffe, A. L., & Pavlovich, K. (2022). Making our work matter: From spectator to engagement through public organization and management studies. Academy of Management Perspectives. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2020.0051
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/15369
There are growing concerns about making our work matter in society and organizations, narrowing the theory–practice gap by doing research that has impact. In this paper, we suggest that there is more at stake than the issue of relating theory to practice, that we need to consider how we generate knowledge and think about its relevance. We argue that at the heart of such an endeavor lie critical ontological and epistemological considerations: first, the need to rethink our self–Other relationships—the nature of the relationship between ourselves as scholars and community members; and second, the need to generate more situated and relational forms of knowing-from-within that address social and environmental issues. Drawing on the work of critical sociologist Michael Burawoy, we elaborate four approaches to generating knowledge within organization and management studies (OMS), arguing that a public organization and management studies approach offers one way of making our work matter, requiring us to move from being spectators of the world to becoming actively engaged with multiple Others in generating knowledge and action. We discuss both the challenges and opportunities of a public OMS, offering examples of how we can become more actively engaged.
Academy of Management
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Academy of Management Perspectives. ©️ Copyright Academy of Management 2022
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