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.