By Lynne Devnew
In recent years, scholars and practitioners alike have realized there is a sizable gap between their two communities (Boston University, 2015; Storberg-Walker, 2015). Researchers complain that practitioners do not read and act upon research reports and researchers are often challenged to gain access to potential research sites and participants. Meanwhile, practitioners complain that researchers are not studying practitioners' real problems. They also note that researchers are not sharing their findings in a manner accessible to practitioners. Given this gap between the two communities, Leaders who are simultaneously Scholars and Practitioners (SPLs), can be invaluable.
While the potential value of this bridging role seems obvious, the opportunities and approaches for being a leader connecting the two communities are less so. How might we get started? Here are just a few ideas:
In summary, it appears we should develop our relationship-building skills and consciously network, network, network! This naturally creates opportunities to connect those in our practice and research worlds. In so doing, we SPL connectors will not only help bridge the gap between the world of scholars and the world of practitioners, we will also build our own reputations as leaders and increase the impact and reach of our own work.
If you’d like to read about some of my current activities seeking to be a connector between the worlds of scholarship and practice, please read my blog, “Stories of an SPL connector”, just posted in the Women and Leadership Special Interest Group here.
Boston University (2015). Reimagining business education: A world of ideas. Boston, MA: Boston University. Retrieved from https://cdn.questromworld.bu.edu/businesseducationjam/files/2015/04/Busi...
Storberg-Walker, J. & Madsen, S. R. (2015). The women and leadership theory think tank report. Washington, D.C.: George Washington University. Retrieved from https://cdn.questromworld.bu.edu/businesseducationjam/files/2015/04/Busi...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Lynne Devnew
Dr. Lynne Devnew is a researcher, author conference speaker. Dr. Devnew has a long history with the university producing relevant and pivotal work in a variety of areas.