Financial Times: Lessons on the Covid front line

24 Sep 2020
When the pandemic hit, the organisers of AOM's Annual Meeting instead gathered thousands of academics online for more than 1,500 presentations.

Originally found at Financial Times, by Andrew Hill.

Management academics are more vulnerable than other scholars to the accusation that they live in ivory towers.

The contrast with managers tackling real-world problems on the business front line is sometimes stark. Chief executives could take office, fail, and start enjoying early retirement in the time it takes a theoretical study to complete its journey from hypothesis to peer-reviewed publication.

As coronavirus spread, I worried that researchers who were confined to their ivory towers might sink into sterile introspection, refining theories rather than outlining practical lessons to real managers. The crisis, though, has offered a wealth of material for study. Judging from some of the contributions to the recent Academy of Management annual meeting, it has also galvanised a rapid response from academicians.