الگوبرداری کنسرسیومی: مطالعه موردی تحقیق مشارکتی آموزش پزشکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1339||2011||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 64, Issue 10, October 2011, Pages 1137–1145
Consortium benchmarking is a scholar–practitioner collaborative case study approach joining rigor and relevance in management research. In consortium benchmarking practitioners and academic researchers form a consortium and together benchmark best-practices. Consortium benchmarking includes practitioners as co-researchers, facilitating research relevant for both academics and practitioners. Rigorous research informs the entire process since consortium benchmarking collects evidence from multiple sources and uses various comparison techniques. This paper introduces the concept of consortium benchmarking and then illustrates its application with a case study that identifies the nature of innovative suppliers. The study shows how consortium benchmarking supports the production of relevant knowledge for both academics and practitioners in a rigorous way. In order to evaluate these contributions, the study develops criteria for assessing rigor as well as theoretical and practical relevance. Finally, the study compares consortium benchmarking with multi-case research and presents five aspects either not accounted for or neglected in “traditional” multi-case research.
The much lamented separation of management research and management practice stimulates a multitude of debates on rigor and relevance in management since at least 50 years (Bennis and O'Toole, 2005 and Tushman et al., 2007). Researchers warn that a rift between research and practice is “likely to result in irrelevant theory and in untheorized and invalid practice” (Anderson et al., 2001, p. 391). Several studies address the question of how to overcome this “double hurdle” (Pettigrew, 1997 and Pettigrew, 2001) of rigor and relevance in management research. Numerous editorials call for making management research of more interest to practitioners (Bartunek et al., 2006) and several presidents of the Academy of Management insistently postulate breaking up the closed self-referential loops of management research in order to bring more relevance to research (e.g., Bartunek, 2003 and Hambrick, 1994). The relevance gap is a knowledge production and knowledge transfer problem (van de Ven and Johnson, 2006). While some authors regard theory and practice as distinct forms of knowledge that are hard to bridge (Kieser and Nicolai, 2005), others argue that producing relevant knowledge depends on how researchers translate theoretical knowledge into the language of practice (Shapiro et al., 2007) or how to integrate practitioners in the research process (Vermeulen, 2007). Even though literature on collaborative research (see Shani et al., 2008 for an overview) suggests some promising avenues of joint academic-practitioner knowledge production, some academics remain skeptical about the contribution of practice-grounded knowledge to scientific progress or doubt that rigor plays a part in the creation of such knowledge (e.g., Kieser and Leiner, 2009). This skepticism seems to result in endless discussions on the “ifs” of combining rigor and relevance on a conceptual level on the one hand or on a philosophy of science perspective on the other, hindering work on the necessary “hows” in terms of what methods can be used to produce relevant knowledge for both academics and practitioners in a rigorous way. Ironically, academics who provide methods used in academic–practitioner collaborative research projects find themselves being pushed back to “if discussion” to justify their methodological approach (e.g., Hodgkinson and Rousseau, 2009). Consortium benchmarking can be a promising and powerful approach to successful academic–practitioner collaboration since the collaboration produces rigorous knowledge relevant for both groups. The consortium is a body of practitioners and academics who work together to define the research questions and search for answers. The practitioners finance the project and send delegates on benchmarking visits. This practitioner–academic collaboration assures that the questions are relevant to the practitioners, are theoretically sound, and have methodological rigor. A large research team of practitioners as well as academics visits and benchmarks each best-practices firm. They listen to presentations, conduct topical discussions, talk to managers, visit the firms' installations and review internal documents. After each visit, the consortium jointly analyzes the data, discusses emerging concepts and examines relationships between diverse concepts and/or variables. Consortium benchmarking advances traditional multi-case approaches by including practitioners, not only as key informants but as co-researchers. Furthermore, since consortium benchmarking is a team-based approach focusing on best-practices cases, relevant discussions between academics and practitioners, or “meta discourses”, are likely to emerge and flourish. This study contributes to management research in four ways. The study introduces consortium benchmarking, a collective benchmarking approach originally developed by practitioners which has gained most attention in German-speaking countries (this paper offers the first comprehensive introduction to consortium benchmarking in an English language journal); it suggests enhancing this approach by explicitly and systematically including academics in the consortium, turning consortium benchmarking into a method of joint academic–practitioner knowledge creation; demonstrates how consortium benchmarking can enhance traditional multi-case study research and narrow the “practitioner–academic divide” (Brennan and Ankers, 2004); and contributes to the discussion of how to conduct rigorous and relevant research in academic–practitioner collaborations. An example illustrates how a consortium benchmarking project works and can produce, in a rigorous way, findings that are relevant for both academics and practitioners. The first section of the paper describes how management research defines rigor and relevance and discusses the benefits of case study research for producing relevant knowledge, the second section presents four steps in conducting a consortium benchmarking project, and concludes with an illustration and discussion of the application and its contributions to the field.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper offers the first comprehensive introduction to the collaborative research approach of consortium benchmarking in an English language journal. Moreover, the paper demonstrates the method's suitability to support mode 1.5 knowledge production. Consortium benchmarking adds to management research in four different areas: First, consortium benchmarking emphasizes that relevant research is a collective achievement instead of a solitary exercise of a single researcher (van de Ven, 2007). By including practitioners as co-researchers, consortium benchmarking constructs a space for joint academic–practitioner knowledge creation, thus contributing to solving the knowledge production problem in management research. Furthermore, since academics and practitioners physically come together to discuss emerging findings and their implications, consortium benchmarking also creates a space for knowledge translation, thereby addressing the knowledge transfer problem in management research (van de Ven and Johnson, 2006). Second, consortium benchmarking goes beyond the “big picture research” of solely identifying and describing a best practice. Consortium benchmarking utilizes different tactics to improve the validity and reliability of the research process and findings which contributes to rigorous management research. Using multiple sources of evidence, consortium benchmarking allows analysis of managerial phenomena from different theoretical and empirical perspectives and development of an operational set of measures (Yin, 2003). Using replication logic, cross-case analysis and by addressing anomalies in the data, consortium benchmarking also enhances the internal validity of the theory that emerges. Replications and comparisons allow the building of theories that have the potential for further generalization. Consequently, the theory that emerges is more robust and not limited to the firms participating in the consortium benchmarking process, but can be of interest to a multitude of companies. Third, the paper demonstrates that consortium benchmarking contains at least five facets not or not fully accounted for in “traditional” multi-case research. (a) While “traditional” multi-case research typically refers to practitioners as passive informants in terms of interview partners or subjects under observation, consortium benchmarking includes them as co-researchers. (b) Consortium benchmarking is a team-based research approach. While some research projects use academic teams to collect (Bourgeois and Eisenhardt, 1988) and/or analyze case data (Zott and Huy, 2007), consortium benchmarking builds a collaborative team of academics, practitioners and sometimes consultants that typically stay together during the span of the research project. (c) Even though several authors suggest using triangulation in data collection and data analyses, the authors are not aware of any approach that combines data triangulation, analyst triangulation, perspective triangulation and methodological triangulation. If at all, multi-case studies refer to only one or two different sources of evidence (Reay et al., 2006; Gersick, 1988). However, consortium benchmarking by its very nature allows combining all four types of triangulation in one research project. (d) Consortium benchmarking aims at understanding why companies are best in their respective class and how they work differently from the firms in the consortium, so the sampling naturally refers to best practices. Finally, (e) academics and practitioners working together closely and intensively throughout the research project stimulate meta-discourse between these groups. “Traditional” multi-case research relies either on teams composed exclusively of academics or includes practitioners only in discussion of the consequences of the research (Tushman et al., 2007). Fourth, consortium benchmarking might also provide an avenue to moderate skeptical views on collaborative research, such as Kieser and Leiner's (2009) system theory perspective, according to which academics and practitioners are two separate self-referential social systems that cannot work together but only irritate each other. “Irritating” each other may, however, be a source of progress in collaborative research, providing that the participants channel this irritation into a common output, a reason that the concluding lessons learned workshop is an essential element of a consortium benchmarking project.