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Promoting Scholarship that Matters: The Uselessness of Useful Research and the Usefulness of Useless Research


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Our ambition in this essay is to challenge received wisdoms about the importance of ‘useful’ management scholarship. Suggesting that usefulness and uselessness are contingent on issues of temporality and power, we advocate caution in assigning terms such as useful and relevant – they are inherently problematic, we argue, and should be viewed more as ideology than as empirical statements. We conclude by a call for reflexivity about what it is we are doing when we do ‘useful’ research, along with a greater concern for the values for which business schools stand.