After looking at the title, one will have to analyse the role of academics and practitioners. Also look at whether they share the same characteristics or concerns by comparing and contrasting. One will also have to look if there is a symbiotic relationship and who benefits greater from it and if that relationship is ever affected by the difference in roles. As their roles in jobs are very different, sometimes they can clash and disagree with each other, but before one looks at that one will define what academics and practitioners are. Academics are the people who teach and undertake research at Universities.
Examples of titles of academic staff are professor, associate professor, reader, doctor, lecturer, tutor or demonstrator. These are the people who look at academic books and research new findings. A Practitioner is someone who practices a learned profession. I. e. managers, tradesman, writer etc. Practitioners are the types of people in jobs that learn through experience, instead of the academics that learn using books and research. Practitioners consider that much academic research is irrelevant to the problems they face, difficult to understand and often unreadable. By contrast, academics complain that practitioners ignore their work.
Emphasising the differences between the two groups can be counter-productive since both can benefit and even thrive on the cross-fertilisation of ideas (Wright-Isak and Prensky, 1995). Academics can provide a flow of new ideas without which professional practice might become stale. Practitioners have the opportunity to undertake repeated tests of academic ideas in the marketplace and often develop new approaches and methods of data collection in the course of addressing clients’ problems. With these clients problems it is said that practitioners get experience, which in turn is more beneficial than reading a book.
As the practitioner can demise a strategy through being experienced as where an academic finds out through research which is not always a good thing. After defining the terms I will now compare and contrast both of them. When looking at both academics and practitioners, there both aiming for the same things to improve their knowledge and understanding. With practitioners trying to improve their business by generating a good strategy, through looking how the firm is operating and improving it. Whilst academics want to be the first to find out something revolutionary and new to the market so they can state that they found it.
There is a difference between academics and managers in the field of strategic management. Bettis (1991) argues “most of the research for managers is irrelevant to what is going on in the large firms. ” It highlighted the point that seems to be felt among many that theorists work needs to be reviewed and updated in accordance with realities affecting firms in today’s environment. Much of the debate regarding the relevance of strategic management research is that managers and academics have differing roles and responsibilities. Academics are around to research and teach whereas managers are in place to take action.
Theorists have the choice of which topic they would like to research however, managers must act in the here and now too new developments in real time. Thomas and Tyman (1982) highlight practitioners, as having 5 needs which they use in assessing whether a type of research is relevant and practical. They suggest there needs to be interaction between academics and practitioners to communicate the findings so that the practitioners needs are identified. They imply that some form of relationship needs to be developed between the two groups.
According to the most recent SIOP salary study, those in an applied setting had significantly higher median salaries than those in academic settings ($100,000 versus $73,000; Katkowski & Medsker, 2001). Anderson, Herriot, and Hodgkinson (2001) observed that those on both sides of the academic- practitioner gap hold stereotypes of one another. Where academics are solely seen as being interested only in methodology at the expense of anything relevant to the real world, whereas practitioners are seen as ignoring all theoretical evidence.
Although most realise that these stereo-types are extreme and are not wholly accurate concepts of either area, the idea that differences exist between those preferring to focus on research and those primarily interested in practical application seems to be an implicit assumption in the academic-practitioner dialogue. Also looking at the difference between them is time practitioners have a set time (9 ’til 5) and certain deadlines to reach, but with academics they are allowed as much time as they like and do not have to reach goals.
So an academic has an easier ride when it comes to jobs. Both practitioners and academics find their information out in very different ways through books and through experience, but both know without each other they would know a whole lot less. Now I will examine the beneficial relationship between practitioners and academics and the benefits that result from interplay between the two. I feels the benefits of this relationship are quite clear. If an organisation is struggling than an effective strategy can transform the organisation fortunes.
Nokia uses an effective symbiotic relationship practitioners and academics to consolidate its position as the world wide leader in mobile telecommunications. ‘Increased mobility and new marketing opportunities are served by nurturing diverse, innovative teams, catering for accessibility in use of mobile phones, digital bridging work and including developing countries in our market scope; innovative and high-quality products cannot be created without attracting, retaining and motivating employees, and efficient supply chain management; good reputation is helped by, among other things, community involvement. ‘ (www. nokia. com 2002)