Article: article from journal or magazin.
Bridging practice and theory: A design science approach
Despite ambitious efforts in various fields of research over multiple decades, the goal of making academic research relevant to the practitioner remains elusive: theoretical and academic research interests do not seem to coincide with the interests of managerial practice. This challenge is more fundamental than knowledge transfer, it is one of diverging knowledge interests and means of knowledge production. In this article, we look at this fundamental challenge through the lens of design science, which is an approach aimed primarily at discovery and problem solving as opposed to accumulation of theoretical knowledge. We explore in particular the ways in which problem-solving research and theory-oriented academic research can complement one another. In operations management (OM) research, recognizing and building on this complementarity is especially crucial, because problem-solving-oriented research produces the very artifacts (e.g., technologies) that empirical OM research subsequently evaluates in an attempt to build explanatory theory. It is indeed the practitioner-not the academic scientist-who engages in basic research in OM. This idiosyncrasy prompts the question: how can we enhance the cross-fertilization between academic research and research practice to make novel theoretical insights and practical relevance complementary? This article proposes a design science approach to bridge practice to theory rather than theory to practice.
Action Research, Design Science, Managerial Relevance, Methodology, and Operations Management
Web of science
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