The Plurality of Scholarship: Developing a Focus for the DBA
11 Pages Posted: 13 May 2011
Date Written: June 2, 2011
This conceptual paper investigates Boyer’s ‘plurality of scholarship’, and whether the scholarship of application naturally aligns with the DBA format. We propose that – while the DBA provides a natural home for the scholarship of application – it must also engage with other forms scholarship. There are opportunities on both sides of the divide – academic and practitioner. The key issue for the scholarship of application is to find a way to convey ‘truths’ revealed by discovery to an audience with plural perspectives. The accompanying need is for practitioners to be involved early in the life cycle of a new construct.
We conclude that there is the opportunity to enrich the development of theory by broadening the scope of enquiry, especially in terms of practical utility (Corley and Gioia, 2011). Applications of the practice of management developed by this approach to scholarship provide mechanisms for new theories to find a wider and more engaged audience. Such applications will also enhance practice by enabling the users of theory to test them in the real world. This should help practitioners to make the most of knowledge generated by those whose focus is on the scholarship of discovery. Finally, the pursuit of the scholarship of application provides DBA programmes with a focus that is distinct from the PhD programmes run within the same business school.
Keywords: Enquiry, DBA, Plurality of Scholarship
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