Relevance of Academic Research on Management Practice


Fibi Nelima Wanyama

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology



‘A university is a place in which the intellect may safely range and speculate… it is a place where inquiry is pushed forward, … discoveries verified and perfected… and error exposed’ (Henry Newman,1852). Can academic research be used in solving organizations problems? Is academic research irrelevant in addressing emergent problems facing managers and businesses in the 21st century? In-spite of rigorous research in educational institutions at all levels – undergraduate, masters and doctoral- are there businesses or institutions that pay attention to the findings in these researches? Do the problems addressed in these researches actually affect these organizations? What mechanism should universities use for sharing the findings, concerns and recommendations with the relevant organizations? Based on a survey of ten organizations operating in Trans-Nzoia County the research was meant to determine whether managers and business organizations pay attention to the findings of researches conducted in their own or other organizations. The study is founded on organizational learning theory which stipulates that whenever expected outcomes differ from actual outcome an individual or group will engage in enquiry to understand and if possible solve the inconsistency while knowledge management theory emphasizes knowledge creation, retention, transfer and utilization. Data collection instrument was the questionnaire that was self-administered to the respondents. Data was analyzed descriptively as well as inferentially using the simple regression analysis. The findings indicate that organizations rarely turn back to academic researches either conducted on the organization or on other organizations in resolving internal issues or set best management practices. The recommendation border on universities undertaking to practically share their findings through methods such as participation at managerial conferences, workshops and seminars, developing management advisory teams, and submitting copies of the research findings to the  institutions concerned.

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