Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Business research is as out of focus as Economics

There is quite a bit of soul searching in Economics, as the current crisis has highlighted that some research areas had been covered less than optimally. Political science also has its crisis, following severe cutbacks in US federal research grants. It turns out business research is also in introspection mode.

Maggie Geuens claims that business research is not useful anymore. Specifically, the author tries to make five points:

  1. The focus of research is other academicians, and not businesses.
  2. Publication is all about impact (within academics) and citations.
  3. Negative results never make it out.
  4. Having to craft a well polished paper is a crass misuse of a researcher's time.
  5. There is too much reliance on impact factors and citations.

This could also have been written for Economics. I really struggle with this obsession about getting prestige within the profession over making useful contributions, especially among the younger generation. And unfortunately, this is more pronounced in the top departments, and these are the ones that will give us the next generations. We really need a wake-up call in the profession that economic research should primarily be about improving global welfare, not a pissing contest among academicians.


Vilfredo said...

You are right about the young generation. It is all about themselves. This sense of entitlement is not good for research.

Anonymous said...

Game theory is the first example of largely useless research. Even Ariel Rubinstein says so.

Kansan said...

There is much more of a focus on performance evaluation than before, and the only measurable way to evaluate this is with citations by peers. Policy relevance cannot be measured. Recent faculty have better adapted to the new requirements.

Anonymous said...

An additional problem with policy relevance is what's the point? The masses will elect the same old politicos. Policy relevant results will never be implemented.

I say screw the masses. Academia is about rent seeking. Academics refuse to be suckered into working hard and then having their returns expropriated. Instead academics get the expropriated funds.

The masses deserve it though.

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