A.R. Elangovan, University of Victoria, and Andrew Hoffman, University of Michigan are seeking your help in identifying best-in-class examples of a particular kind of business school academic that they would like to highlight in a new research project and book. Please read their message below.
In a world that seems to be in an intensifying struggle with “Truth Decay” (RAND Corporation, 2018) – where scientific knowledge is increasingly undervalued or disregarded and the role of the academic scholar diminished – the need for academic scholars to engage in public and political discourse is critically important. We wish to examine those who play this role well in the hopes that others can learn from their experiences and model their careers in similar ways. We are labelling these academics “engaged scholars” or “public intellectuals”, and we wish to develop a list of such academics to interview.
Perhaps, you have been influenced by such academics. These are people who have succeeded as per the standard metrics of academic success, such as achieving tenure through academic publishing, intellectual leadership, teaching and mentoring. But, going further, they are professors who:
- Have used their research, teaching and service endeavors to address the real problems facing society.
- Interpreted and enacted their academic responsibilities in unique, interesting and non-traditional ways.
- Have made a real and demonstrable impact through engagement with non-academic audiences (such as business, government, civil society and the general public).
- Have flourished in walking their respective unique paths (i.e., done well in some way – “success” can be defined very broadly)
Our goal is to create a list of such academics and then learn from their life/work journeys – the challenges they faced, the opportunities they embraced, the twists and turns they endured, and the strategies they enacted to expand their role as an academic within society. We plan to collect names through this survey and then snowball our sample to gain as comprehensive a list as possible.
While the two of us may know of such academics in our own disciplines, we are not knowledgeable about such scholars in the other areas of business. In the interest of casting as wide a net as possible across the different business areas, we are reaching out to you for suggestions. To help us in our quest, we are asking you add their names and affiliations to this survey (you can do this anonymously or with attribution)
A.R. Elangovan and Andy Hoffman