Business School Research: Some Preliminary Suggestions

18 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2008 Last revised: 1 Dec 2008

See all articles by R. Edward Freeman

R. Edward Freeman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

David Newkirk

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

Recent critiques of business schools have led to the formulation of three interconnected problems: the problem of research; the problem of the use of knowledge; and, the normative problem. At the heart of the issue is what we have called the separation thesis or the separation fallacy, most powerfully seen as the exclusion of ethics from business judgments, but generalizable to a duality between the worlds of management and humanity. If we give up this fallacy, we can gain a different and more pluralist view of the role of research in business school, and as the nature of meaningful research. We lay out five main modes of research, and suggest how each can escape the separation fallacy. We then show how the problem of the use of knowledge can be ameliorated by giving up the separation fallacy. Finally, we suggest how we can re-define and re-discover the disciplines of business by thinking about more thick moral conceptions.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Ethics, Stakeholder Theory, Stakeholder Management, Research, Modes of Research, Role of Research in the Business School, Separation Thesis, Separation Fallacy, Management Science

Suggested Citation

Freeman, R. Edward and Newkirk, David L., Business School Research: Some Preliminary Suggestions. 1st IESE Conference, "Humanizing the Firm & Management Profession", Barcelona, IESE Business School, June 30-July 2, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1295300 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1295300

R. Edward Freeman (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
804-924-0935 (Phone)
804-924-6378 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/freeman.htm

David L. Newkirk

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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