Galavan, Robert and Kelliher , Felicity and Harrington, Denis
SPREADING LEADER KNOWLEDGE
A proposal for practitioner-academic partnership in disseminating leader knowledge.
In: Irish Academy of Management Conference 2007.
Growth theory states that knowledge is crucial for the sustained growth of high-income economies, and that knowledge diffusion can help to explain clusters of regions with persistently different levels of growth. Specifically, contemporary literature has investigated the potential for regional institutions support in national competitiveness, wherein competitiveness is increasingly based on a country’s capacity to develop and apply knowledge. From an Irish perspective, recent government-sponsored studies have seen an intense search into the likely engines to enable Ireland’s future economic growth in a global economy. There are a significant number of policies designed to promote entrepreneurial activity on a regional basis and there has been relative success facilitating would–be entrepreneurs interaction with networks of experienced entrepreneurs and managers, venture capitalists, technical experts, and other specialists. Unfortunately, the same facilitation has not been afforded to the third level student population, as network activity tends to be restricted to the entrepreneurial activity itself, thus the dissemination of entrepreneurial knowledge among these stakeholders is less evident in this country.
It is the authors’ contention that Ireland’s pursuit of a knowledge economy requires a honing of its business leadership skills in order to compete successfully on the global stage going forward and the 2004 Enterprise Strategy Report identifies management capability as one of the “essential conditions” of sustainable progress. The authors discuss the need for a practitioner-academic partnership wherein mutual gains could be met from a community perspective, and find that in order to cultivate entrepreneurial knowledge, business and academic communities should collaborate to provide a practice-based perspective in leadership education and training. By observing an active case study wherein a prominent business leader and an academic
institution work together to offer a more-rounded practice-led leader perspective, the authors go on to propose a leader knowledge dissemination model, wherein indigenous entrepreneurs can stimulate the academic environment, and leader development can be promoted through entrepreneurs’ active involvement in the education process, with the overriding objective being the dissemination of practical relevant leader knowledge among third level students.
The research focus is the nature of knowledge created by research at the interface between business and academia in the context of global competitive changes that are likely to affect the demand for such knowledge in the future. The paper concludes with a perspective on the evolution of knowledge transfer and the importance of dynamic collaboration between third level institutions and corporate leaders in modern Ireland. Finally, further research recommendations include the potential to expand the proposed model of practice-led education in the future.
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