“Publish or Perish” Culture Undermines Business Schools

The “publish or perish” culture, where academics are pressured to publish research in top-tier journals to secure tenure and promotion, has long been a cornerstone of academia. However, in the context of business schools, this culture is having a detrimental impact on the quality of education and the relevance of research.

Business schools are meant to prepare students for the real world, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen careers. However, the “publish or perish” culture has led to a focus on theoretical research that is often disconnected from practical application. Professors are incentivized to pursue research that is likely to be published in top journals, rather than research that addresses real-world problems or has practical implications.

This has resulted in a disconnect between the academic community and the business community. Business leaders and practitioners are often frustrated by the lack of relevance and applicability of academic research, which can be overly theoretical and abstract. This disconnect undermines the value of a business education, as students are not being equipped with the skills and knowledge that are most relevant to their future careers.

Furthermore, the “publish or perish” culture has led to a culture of competition and individualism, where professors are pitted against each other in a quest for publication and recognition. This can lead to a lack of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, which is essential for innovation and progress.

To address this issue, business schools must shift their focus from theoretical research to practical, applied research that addresses real-world problems. This requires a cultural shift, where professors are incentivized to collaborate with industry partners, engage in experiential learning, and focus on research that has practical implications. By doing so, business schools can reclaim their purpose and provide students with a relevant, practical, and valuable education that prepares them for success in the business world.

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