This paper focuses on projects that have proved scholar practitioners to be a success in enhancing academic knowledge, and most importantly, delivering results in business management. There has been a wide gap between theory and practice in the history of academic knowledge. As a result, Aram & Salipante (2003) point out that Executive Doctoral programs have emerged to offer ways of reducing this gap. Many scholars have attested to the fact that useful research provides possible solutions to business issues, as well as advance an understanding of the problems. Bourner, Ruggeri-Stevens & Bareham (2000) assert that the core theme of the above Doctoral programs, such as Doctor of Business Administration, is to develop professional practice, as well as professional practitioners by means of none other than research. Most candidates in DBA are expected to illustrate how their research has affected their professional practice.
The Scholar-Practitioner and Action-Learning
Scholar practitioners are expected to use research as a way of seeking to resolve a management or business issue, and, as a result, contribute to the overall knowledge of management practice. Bourner & Simpson (2005) indicate that action research has been supported recently instead of realism. Notably, action research has six characteristics, and it usually places an emphasis on a humanistic perspective. Secondly, there is a high level of interaction between the researcher and system. Thirdly, it gives exclusive attention to the development of the system. Fourthly, it is a theory that is based on action and it has a base commitment to the understanding process than outcome. And lastly, it has a lot of commitment to understanding how an action can be made. According to Coghlan & Brannick (2001), this approach is aimed at solving organizational problems to better the future with the help of problem solving.
There is another approach to solving business problems too. However, it is worth noting that, knowledge stems from joining specialized knowledge sources with a common purpose of solving a stated problem. More often than not, you would find practitioners, working in different institutions, from different specialized areas being merged to make the process of production a trans-disciplinary one. Bourner & Simpson (2005) point out that the resulting knowledge becomes distributed socially as the different practitioners go to work under new contexts, and as they communicate through different professional and occupational networks.
Action Approaches to Research
There has been an urgent need to bridge the wide gap between knowledge and action in the fields of management. As a result, Revans (1998) indicates that actionable scientific knowledge has been proposed to bring about the successful merging of science and business. Actionable scientific knowledge, by definition, refers to the process of creating knowledge that is on par with the standards of science and business needs of an organization.
According to Revans (1998), action is a recurring theme for theory, as well as practice. Lev Vygotsky formulated the Action theory, to explain how an idea may be reconciled by theory or practice. It happened to be the solution to the problem of psychology. There were two conflicting views in psychology at the start of the century. Human consciousness was taken to be autonomous and an opposing force to the material environment. However, the behaviorist program was concerned with action as showed in behavior. Mediated action bases itself on the principle of unity and indivisibility of consciousness.
In conclusion, many researches point to the fact that scholar-practitioners are able to solve issues through practice-mediated actions that had predictable elements of the theory. They show the uniqueness of linkages between two streams of actions. Most successful projects carried out by practitioners consist of several stages, such as definition of the project, its execution, and its realization. Scholar-practitioners also use a mechanism known as scaffolding to achieve theory practice linkages that were used to frame, legitimize, sense make and demonstrate. Successful projects involved various mediating components of theory and practice, as well. While a scholar is capable of producing an academic result, a practitioner can bring about practical results. Therefore, a linkage would be a most effective way of bring the two together to achieve results.