Why we do irrelevant research
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Smeltzer argues that there are significant differences between research issues business practitioners and business communication researchers view as important. Not surprisingly, these differences result in publications (at least in JBC) that appear to have little value to practitioners. Some academics, though, would argue that Smeltzer's concern is unwarranted. They strongly believe a university's job is to discover or produce new knowledge; consequently, the direction or content of academic research should not be heavily influenced by practitiners' needs. Although this idealized depiction of university research has great appeal, I believe this view is politically naive and, more importantly, negates the integrating role between knowledge and practice that professional schools (for example, business, law, and medicine) and academic areas such as business communication play. Like Smeltzer, I to believe we need to better connect the research we produce with practitioners' needs, and I offer three concrete reasons this disconnect has occurred.
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