There are so many professionals and high-end advisory and consultant firms out there having a major impact on business practice, but in my opinion, they often lack a solid knowledge base in academic research. A lot of models, processes, and methods that are up for sale and marketed as the very latest and best are old and have highly problematic outcomes. Or they are “homemade” and haven’t been tested in a critical academic study. As a management researcher, I can recognize an old solution in new clothes; I know what does not work as promised, as proven by research, and what comprises actual alternative solutions, warranted by both theory and empirical studies. Academia contains so much knowledge about how to get people to contribute, to innovate, and to commit, as well as how to analyze the most complex (or seemingly simple) problems – knowledge that is seldom applied in a systematic way in real business situations.
On the other hand, a lot of activities within the research world can be questioned. Business, management, leadership, organizational, and project management research is often so far away from real-life business problems (and sometimes from real theoretical problems) that its only function is to foster researchers’ academic careers. Another problem with academia is the social and pedagogic skill of quite a number of full-time researchers – or rather their lack of it, as well as their lack of interest in developing it. The result is that a lot of highly relevant and valuable knowledge gets lost in the ocean of academic research.
All my services are based on the idea that I can help practitioners to find, choose, and translate relevant academic knowledge, sometimes from the very forefront of academic knowledge creation, sometimes from social scientific classics. If I hold a lecture on “The Myths of Project Management,” I do not compromise my academic way of thinking one bit, and thus, I can deliver actionable advice that is highly relevant and highly different from most other project management consultants, educators, and textbook authors. Of course, the same is true for my other services. Based on my own academic reading and research, I could help you answer questions like these:
• What are management fads, and what are the real trends and developments in management and leadership knowledge and practices?
• How can general management research help discover entrepreneurial ways to develop and redesign the business organizations of today?
• Why SHOULDN’T we try to align all our processes into one lean mean machine?
• What do we actually know about multimatrix organizational solutions?
• What does gender research say about mixed- and balanced-gender top-management groups? Why is this so hard to accomplish?