Where Are the Academic Management Blogs?

11 August 2006 at 10:40 pm 6 comments

| Peter Klein |

Our inaugural post noted the dearth of academic blogs in management, strategy, and other parts of business administration, compared with the many in economics and law. Tonight witnessed a gathering of the near-universe of academic management bloggers — Nicolai, Teppo Felin of orgtheory.net, and myself (Brayden King joins us later) — at the Academy of Management meeting in Atlanta. Why, we asked ourselves, are there so few academic management blogs?

One possibility is opportunity cost. Economists and law professors have fewer consulting opportunities than management professors, and hence more time for blogging. Another is that bloggers appropriate very little of the value their blogs create (OK, assume, arguendo, positive value creation), and business-school professors are too savvy to give away knowledge for free. (Of course, while that might apply to researchers in corporate strategy, which is all about making money, it hardly applies to those in organizational behavior and the other “softer” areas of management.)

I suspect another explanation. Blogging requires a certain temperment, a particular way of thinking. The best bloggers have not only catholic interests, but also — more important — a belief that they can explain a variety of interesting and important phenomena with a few basic principles, consistently applied, and in just a short paragraph or two. This is exactly the way most economists think. “Give me a simple model, and I can explain the world.” Those who prefer more subtle, complex, and ambiguous modes of thought are apt to find blogging an unsatisfying pursuit.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Methods/Methodology/Theory of Science, Strategic Management.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bizwriter  |  12 August 2006 at 6:48 am

    Really interesting blog! I have just found you through the new “Related Posts” feature of WordPress.com.

    I mostly agree with your post except for this:

    Those who prefer more subtle, complex, and ambiguous modes of thought are apt to find blogging an unsatisfying pursuit.

    The “medium is the message” but, many times, the medium can be adapted to the thought patterns of the writer. Thank you.

  • […] It occurs to me that one reason scholars may not blog is for the fear of releasing “too much information” about one’s self.  Who, after all, wants to know or cares whether you are lost in nyc, think campuses are ugly, or, who cares what states you’ve blogged from.  On the other hand, if you keep the purposes of blogs in perspective, then occasional musings of this sort should not bother anyone (the below, roughly, comes from this previous post). […]

  • 3. sozlog » Blog Archive » Blogging Profs  |  14 August 2006 at 6:57 am

    […] Over at organizations and markets and orgtheory authors ponder what might prevent academics from blogging. Peter Klein is searching for Academic Management blogs just as I searched for blogs on sociology a while ago. Peter Klein discussed if opportunitiy costs might hinder academics from blogging. At a first glance, that is a plausible thesis: blogging requires resources, effort, creativity and time. Besides, up to know, blogging is not a form of publication rewarded by academic institutions and the system of science in general. […]

  • […] Mit dem Kopf voran 25.08.2006 um 08:05 UhrKeine Theorie ist eine schlechte Theorievon: steffenh Tina's SozLog macht micht auf eine interessante These von Peter Klein zur Verbreitung von Weblogs unter Ökonomen aufmerksam, die sich auf den ersten Blick wie eine Kritik anmutet, doch eigentlich mehr auf eine wichtige Funktion von Weblogs in der fachlichen Auseinandersetzung hindeutet: […]

  • 5. sozlog » Blog Archive » Socioblogging XXL  |  8 August 2007 at 11:25 am

    […] a year ago, Peter Klein at organizations and markets launched a discourse on what keeps academics away from blogging. Ragnar Heil from Soziologie und […]

  • 6. Steve Phelan  |  8 August 2007 at 9:06 pm

    One explanation is that mgt (and sociology) profs at not at the forefront of the diffusion of innovation.

    For instance, I took a psychology course on social network analysis at the University of Melbourne in 1989 but it was almost ten years before it started appearing in mainstream management journals.

    Personally, I find it marvellous to have a community of scholars having a conversation on strategic management but perhaps that is not on the agenda of most of our peers, who, as Peter says, may be very narrowly focused, not only on interests but also motivations.

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