Christos Pitelis, university ambassador of business research and engagement at Brunel University London, and AACSB's Dan LeClair chat about engaged scholarship and how interaction with those outside of academics can create new solutions.
Dan LeClair: [00:15] I understand that Brunel Business School practices what's called "engaged scholarship." What is that?
Christos Pitelis: [00:24] Engaged scholarship is about research, but research which is motivated, informed, and incentivized by interaction with a real community, with the non academic community.
[00:35] By this, I mean business policymakers, the society at large, and with an eye to identify problems in this community and find solutions to these problems, which are then also published in scholarly journals.
[00:54] To give you an example, in the past 22 years I have been running the Centre for International Business and Management, we have been doing this engagement. I want to refer to what I call genuine engagement, because everybody talks about engagement.
[01:08] But engagement, if it's not in a real life setting with real people, where you are properly engaging and discussing, it doesn't go as deep.
[01:19] In this context of genuine engagement, what I found in the past 22, 23 years is something very fascinating that business people and other stakeholders seem to be interested in the same academic "problems" we are interested.
[01:34] For example, the events at the symposia we are organizing have to do with things like pensions, religion, geopolitical issues, food security. A number of these issues which, in an interesting sort of way, they are impacting very much on their business models and what they are doing on a daily basis, which, I thought was a bit of a surprise.
[01:55] The other thing I found is basically that they are ahead of the game. When we do academic research, we are always a few years behind. You really have to see what is happening today to be informed by reality, so to speak, non academic sector. This is what I found.
LeClair: [02:15] Wow, that sounds like what we're starting to talk about at AACSB. It's very close to co creating knowledge between academic scholars and the business practice community. That's great.
Filmed September 2017 on site at AACSB's Annual Accreditation Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.