Bad for Practice - Good for Practice - From Economic Imperialism to Multidisciplinary Mapping
1st IESE Conference, "Humanizing the Firm & Management Profession", Barcelona, IESE Business School, June 30-July 2, 2008
20 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2008 Last revised: 12 Dec 2008
There is a growing debate about economics not only being bad for practice but also destroying good management practice. The focus of this debate has been on the negative influences of wrong assumptions in theory building which become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We analyze why standard economics indeed can be bad for managerial and political practice. Aside from wrong assumptions, economic imperialism is another important factor. We argue that psychological economics is better for practice than standard economics, but is still not good for practice, as long as it uses an imperialistic approach. We propose a different research strategy, which we call multidisciplinary mapping. It not only bridges between different disciplinary approaches but also between the knowledge of scholars and practitioners. It is good for practice as well as for theory building.
Keywords: Psychological economics, economic imperialism, self-fulfilling prophecy, multidisciplinary mapping
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