Many have bemoaned the limited influence that management science has on management practice. Many have offered reasons for this (lack of relevance, abstruse writing, a focus on novelty over pragmatism), and solutions to those issues (e.g., limits on what we study, new forms of communication, misaligned incentives). What I argue is that those solutions address symptoms, not root causes. The root of the problem is the fields’ (mostly implicit) perspective on how knowledge is produced. We treat scholarly activities as portfolio of loosely coupled functions as opposed to a production system. Reinterpreting the field as a production system that should be specialized and coordinated makes it easier to identify who does what, and more importantly how these activities come together to produce and disseminate what is new, true, and important. In this talk I will describe the production system and show how it works as a value chain. This system means re-thinking many fundamental beliefs about what constitutes impact, and what constitutes translation. In the end, field could use this as a model to better integrate research as well as more fairly evaluate its people.
Matthew A. Cronin (Ph.D. 2004, Carnegie Mellon University) is a Professor of Management at George Mason University. His research examines the inter- and intra-personal processes that make collaboration more creative and effective. He is also interested in system dynamics, and the nature of knowledge creation in management research. His work has appeared in top-tier management publications such as The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Annals, Management Science, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. This work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Fortune, and was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was the 2016 Conflict Management Division Chair. He was the Coeditor in Chief of Organizational Psychology Review (2019-2022) and more currently The Academy of Management Annals (2023-2026), and serves on the editorial review board of Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Discoveries, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Journal of Management Scientific Reports. He coauthored two books: The Influential Negotiator (Sage Publishing, 2020) and The Craft of Creativity (Stanford University Press, 2018), which was a finalist for AOM’s 2019 George R. Terry book award.