Topic: Research, Science-Practice Knowledge Transfer

Author(s), Title and Publication

Latham, G. P. (2007). A speculative perspective on the transfer of behavioral science findings to the workplace: “The times they are a-changing”. Academy of Management Journal, 50(5), 1027-1032.


This article does not describe a research project but rather is a provocative essay regarding a long-time issue: the gap between academic research findings and practice in the field. The essay discusses the practical application of academic discoveries in human resource management and examines ways to transfer knowledge between the two worlds. Latham identifies 10 actions that academics can use to make their research more useful for organizational decision makers.

To close the research-practice gap, scholars can: 1) conduct empirical research on the ways to transfer research findings to workplaces; 2) develop a theory of diffusion based on the empirical research to guide researchers; 3) include operational validity as a criterion for evaluating the theory; 4) involve more managers and business students in research; 5) improve business communication skills; 6) enter the world of practitioners by teaching executive education programs, or establishing formal relationships (e.g., holding annual conference) between scholarly societies and practitioner societies; 7) influence practitioner journals, for example, by serving on the editorial boards of the journals, and publishing in them; 8) reward one’s influence on practice (e.g., presentations at practitioner conferences and publications in practitioner journals); 9) conduct research with practitioners; and 10) seek employment in private and public sectors.

Implications for Practice (and researchers)

To better implement research findings in practice, organizations may want to establish formal relationships with universities or academic societies, hire scholars as consultants, and invite scholars to give presentations in executive education programs or employee training programs. Scholars can take positive steps by encouraging and involving professionals in research projects and inviting practitioners to engage with students.

Location of Article

The article is available online at: (full text)





Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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