8.3.3 Fighting for a better world

Many academics and students will have been inspired by Ghoshal's last article, published posthumously in the Academy of Management of Learning & Education. Entitled “Bad Management Theories are Destroying Good Management Practice”, it is a very dramatic analysis of the potential negative impact of academic theories. However, I was unaware that Ghoshal's interest in this field was long-standing with a critique on transaction cost theory published in 1996.

I was also unaware of another posthumous publication “Scholarship that Endures”, that appeared in a little-known research annual Research Methodology in Strategy and Management, published by Emerald publishers. As even four years after publication, there is only one citation to this paper (in a paper published the same research annual), I can only assume most people are unaware of it. Hence, I am quoting the first paragraph of the article at length, in the hope that it will offer inspiration for current and future scholars:

“As academics, we collectively publish thousands of articles and hundreds of books each year. We spend a large part of our lives producing them, sacrificing, in the process, sleep, time with our families, reading things we want to read, seeing places we wish to see. Most of these books and articles soon vanish without a trace, helping us get tenure perhaps, but talking with them into oblivion very large parts of the best years of our lives. Few very few of the outputs of our intellectual endeavors endure. What is it that distinguishes scholarship that endures from scholarship that does not?” (Ghoshal, 2006: 1)