Inderscience Publishers

The co-evolution of academic research and industry practice: evidence from the US car industry

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It has been argued that scholars have forgotten what really matters in the society, that management research is faddish, and that we do not know how our research influences industry practice. To fill in this gap, we investigate the co-evolution of the US car industry and academic writings about the industry. We find that rather than reacting to the industry practice, academics seem to keep writing about their individual favourite topics, while the group of most cited articles reflects the trends in the industry. This means that the academia constantly provides a large set of variance in ideas, from which the practitioners can choose those that support their prevailing purposes. Thus, academic writings have an idea-amplifying and legitimating role in the industry practice.

Keywords: rigour, relevance, faddishness, automobile industry, management research, societal impact, co-evolution, USA, United States, industry practice, R&, amp, D, research and development, automotive research, academic research, research literature

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