Network Debate – How Do You Make Managers Use Management Research?

16. A practicing manager has their own preferences and experience always associated with a given situation. While a researcher would bring in a third eye view to the situation under study, which is always better. However, the constraint is, the timing at which the bridging happens, and how the priority is.

17. Science knows how to solve business problems and offers science-based solutions. But the practice appears harsh opponent of the theory and violates the theoretical laws.

18. The volume of research greatly exceeds its application in practice. Researchers must pay greater attention to the production of their research findings in a flexible range of formats in recognition of the varied needs of consumers.

Linking Research to Practice, available at, examines this matter in some detail.

19. I agree with No. 2 – present a clear message in the simplest and most attractive means possible. As much as possible present the message in monetary terms. Our work involves influencing policy decisions with evidence and we increasingly find that policymakers do not have time to read or do not treasure reading so will likely not read research articles, books, even one-pager policy briefs.

20. The following points are my personal opinion based on my experience.  Here, I am providing the expectations of the management and research teams.  At the end, I have provided the simple management tool that can be useful to achieve this. Many managements look for results with the following conditions:

  1. zero expenditure
  2. no additional manpower
  3. no additional equipment or instrument requirement
  4. minimum implementation time
  5. minimum maintenance
  6. minimum wastage
  7. maximum profit

If the research promises the above points; managers shall read and use the research work in solving business problems. In order to have a plan for a successful procedure for solving a problem; the management should support the research team or staff involved with the following minimum support:

  1. a) seed money to conduct the initial investigations
  2. b) minimum staff support to meet the workload
  3. c) basic equipment and  instruments to perform the initial tests
  4. d) little free time to conduct the initial tests, analyze the data and draw results
  5. e) plan methods to implement the results
  6. f) support the research team, with whatever is needed, to implement

The simple and best management tool that can be useful to achieve the above points is the QUALITY CIRCLES.  The important points of quality circles are given below:

  1. i) working is simple
  2. ii) as the workforce is involved it leads to success in most cases

iii) training is not expensive

  1. iv) running cost is less
  2. v) results are very effective

21. It is not only the managers’ problem… look at schools, for example. Do many teachers read professional literature and update themselves? Same with many physicians, engineers, …. etc.

22. Dear X. I agree that most professional/teachers/managers do not read and update, but there are some who do read. There could possibly be systemic changes to partly coerce and to partly motivate them to read. If they read and update the product of their efforts it would be more relevant and customer-centric. That is the whole issue.

22. I think training programs, seminars, conferences, and experts lectures may induce them to read recent literature. Unless they read these they cannot advance.

23. Managers are averse to reading research-based books. I agree with Mr. Mehta that attending conferences & seminars should be made compulsory, where managers listen to lectures (aided by ppts ) on these topics by researchers & gain the relevant concepts. There is also an opportunity to discuss these topics to clarify doubts. It is probable that as age advances, listening to lectures is more comfortable than reading books, as lectures are given by experts making the concepts simple. It would be interesting if the management maintains a good library & makes managers read, by asking them to give lectures to colleagues & junior staff members regularly by sparing time for such activities.

24. My opinion is similar to previous colleagues. Most of it is about communication strategy. Simple infographics, half to one-page summaries, clear cut problems and solutions, presentations in conferences, seminars, etc. or even social media like LinkedIn would be more effective in reaching out to managers. If the summaries, infographics are interesting enough, I’m sure people will find ways to find the book.

25. You could also have someone designated to put attractive posters with the qualities described by X on bulletin boards or anywhere they could be viewed easily. If employees see these they too can tell managers about them. Sometimes change comes, because your employees are instigating it. They might even request a seminar or conference on these topics of particular importance.

Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard, Ph.D.
Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard, Ph.D.
Vibeke is Founder and CEO at ManageMagazine. Entrepreneur, lecturer and Honorary Research Associate at the University of Technology Sydney. Sociologist and Ph.D. in Organization Studies and Innovation Management. Passionate about facilitating a positive research impact through knowledge sharing and professional networks, an impact that will allow people to live out their highest, truest and fullest expression of themselves.
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