The Paradox In Partnership: The Role of Conflict in Partnership Building

Indexed in: Scopus, EBSCO.

The Paradox in Partnership: The Role of Conflict in Partnership Building elucidates on alliances that are - on one hand, designed to promote collaboration between individuals, groups and ...
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Building Academics-Practitioners Partnership as Means for Generating Usable Knowledge

Pp. 64-78 (15)

Helena Syna Desivilya and Michal Palgi


Scholars studying organizations have been concerned about the relevance and the potential for applying knowledge produced by academics to management practice. The fact that academics and practitioners travel to divergent paths seems to pose the major barrier in the generation of applicable knowledge.

In an attempt to explore possible ways of circumventing this impediment, we propose partnerships between academics and practitioners as a vehicle for generating usable knowledge. The objective of the current chapter is to clarify the role of partnerships in developing applicable knowledge, while focusing on the socio-psychological and political dimensions underlying relationships between academics and practitioners.

We discuss the partnership format as a mechanism to promote the generation of usable knowledge, while examining the processes whereby such a partnership can be developed. We stress that the emergence of conflicts between academics and practitioners is one of the central elements in collaborative relationships, and that these discords must be dealt with in order to build a cooperatively oriented and sustainable partnership. We also discuss the issues of trust, power, and control which surface in the process of implementing partnership, signaling the gap between the idealized conception of partnership as a desirable arrangement on the one hand, and its reality on the other. We then present illustrations from two case studies showing the strengths and limitations in developing partnerships between academics and practitioners. Finally, we critically evaluate partnership as a potential vehicle for generating usable knowledge.


Emek Yezreel College Israel.