Towards better understanding and narrowing of the science-practice gap: A practitioner-centered approach to management knowledge creation

Katerina Božič, Alexandre Anatolievich Bachkirov*, Matej Černe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lack of mutual communication and collaboration between academic research and management practice, and the limited implementation of the research findings in strategic and tactical decision-making in practice settings, known as the science-practice ‘gap’, remains an essential issue in management research. We challenge the primary focus on academics for the possibilities of bridging the gap by arguing that the picture remains incomplete without a closer look at the positions, perceptions, and attitudes of practicing managers toward the joint production of relevant management knowledge. Based on the inductive, grounded theory approach, we conducted a qualitative study of 47 practicing managers with different organizational and functional responsibilities across various industry sectors. Although practitioners perceived practice-engaged research design and execution, relevant management research, and benefits from complementary knowledge as enablers of fruitful science-practice collaboration, our emerging findings revealed limited trust, limited cognition, coping strategies, and heuristic information processing to be important barriers for practitioners that hamper the collaboration process. Relying on the cognitive and information processing framework and theory of the conservation of resources, we aimed to explain the antecedent of (un)successful collaboration on the practitioners' side, thus extending our understanding of the scholarship of integration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaboration challenges
  • Grounded theory
  • Knowledge creation
  • Practitioners' voice
  • Rigor-relevance debate
  • Science-practice gap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management

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