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Aligning Academic Research with Professional Needs

I just finalized the findings of an academic research study for my Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). The unusual nature of the study was that I am the researcher while I hold the position of CEO of the company being researched. The research studied the Amazon Effect and provide insight into strategies for success in the digital market.

CEOs do not normally write academic research. A search of peer-reviewed academic research showed no studies with the CEO as the researcher. I suspect that most CEOs do not need to obtain another degree to advance professionally. Also, the time needed to adequately research and write a quality study is not available to most CEOs.

However, this combination of academia and professional practice has merits. The tension between business schools’ research and curriculum and the interests of business practitioners is well documented (Mouncey, 2019; Gaumer, Cotleur, & Arnone, 2014; Barram, 2011; Griesemer, 2011). Academic research does not study professional needs. The disconnect has numerous proposed solutions. Some call for researchers to engage business professionals before engaging in an inquiry to ensure the study will help businesses (Mouncey, 2019). Other studies have said that researchers should be more involved in the actual business (Gaumer et al., 2014; Barram, 2011; Griesemer, 2011).

Businesses are negatively impacted more than ever by rapidly changing environments, and the results of managers not reacting are devastating to the economy and jobs (Bohórquez Arévalo, 2016; Patè- Cornell, 2015). Business professionals see research as having an agenda that is not beneficial to actual business (Mouncey, 2019). Mouncey (2019) said that no easy solution exists to solve this conflict.

I disagree. The easy solution is for some research to be conducted by the actual executives of businesses. This would instantly align current business needs with academic research. My experience was positive both for the company and for the research. The resulting research positively impacted the performance of my company.

Additionally, more information and current business challenges are now available to academic needs.


Barram, D. (2011). A pedagogical approach to teaching senior business majors in a small liberal arts university: Creating and operating a real business. Business Education Innovation Journal, 3(2), 107-111.

Bohórquez Arévalo, L. E. (2016). The absence of response of organizations to changing business

environment conditions: a complex management problem. Pensamiento & Gestión, (41), 13-35.

Gaumer, C. J., Cotleur, C. A., & Arnone, C. (2014). College students as marketing consultants:

When does it work? Journal of International Business Disciplines, 9(2), 36-49.

Griesemer, J. A. (2011). Experiences engaging undergraduate business students in research activities at a small liberal arts college. Proceedings For The Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI), 742-745.

Mouncey, P. (2019). Addressing a key challenge facing market(ing) research: Re-aligning the

academic and practitioner communities. International Journal of Market Research, 61(1), 3–9.

Patè- Cornell, E. (2015). Uncertainties, intelligence, and risk management: a few observations

and recommendations on measuring and managing risk. Stanford Journal of International Law, 51(1), 53-67.


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