Department of Marketing

New piece on: How to Collaborate Really Well with Practitioners



We offer a meta-perspective on the collaboration between university academics and business practitioners. While academics often intuitively and implicitly take an inside perspective, namely a university perspective, in discussing collaborative research and the why, how, and what in collaborating with practitioners, we bring to the fore an outside perspective, namely a business perspective, on the same collaboration, which then typically is termed collaborative innovation. Doing this gives us the opportunity to mirror the two perspectives against each other and to discuss the differences, difficulties, and learning opportunities in the relationship between universities and businesses. Ultimately, we offer a discussion of how academics can be inspired to engage better with practitioners. We need to look for learning potential in the way academics engage with their surroundings, and we call for greater sensitivity and reflexivity in the way academics collaborate with practitioners. Importantly, to improve collaboration, academics can themselves use some of the advice, which they dispense to management. The practitioner community is not homogeneous and time and effort must be taken to open the lines of communication and foster a collaborative environment. And despite the attractiveness of providing a “quick fix” to an imminent decision-maker’s problem, the greatest value (to academic and practitioner) occurs when the academic challenges conventional wisdom and traditional decision-making mindsets. 

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The page was last edited by: Department of Marketing // 03/03/2020