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Managers Should Think Like Sherlock

Jörg Dietz, The Financial Times

For more than a century, valuable insight into leadership, logistics, strategy, human resources, finance and other areas of management and business has emerged from research conducted at business schools. Indeed, business schools and business academics are the source of many concepts and practices that managers use on a day-to-day basis.

At the same time, as their name suggests, the primary role of business schools is to educate the business managers and leaders of today and of the future. And, in an ideal world, there should be a strong link between research and teaching, where first-class research from business schools and elsewhere quickly percolates through to the students.

The reality, however, is a little more complicated. Take the challenge of integrating research into the curriculum. Academic incentive structures invite research that is academically exciting but not necessarily practically relevant. Even where research has obvious application it is often not by design and at many schools there is no formal mechanism for identifying relevant research and ensuring it finds its way into the curriculum.

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