Becoming vanilla pudding: How we undermine our passion for research

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Society invests billions of dollars every year in helping management scholars help organizations. However, many scholars become contented with cranking out endless variations on tired themes. They become vanilla pudding: a bland comfort food with empty calories. To be sure, it is difficult under the best of circumstances to do research that makes a difference. But the profession has constructed artificial barriers to bold theorizing and empiricism, including discipline-specific training, journals, and funding; a bias against qualitative research; various pitfalls of the journal review process; and the defensiveness encouraged by the Great Wall of Academia - tenure. These barriers can be reduced by replacing tenure with regular performance reviews, by recognizing that not all A publications are equal, by judging scholarly books and chapters on their own merits, and by encouraging editors to empower authors. A few such judicious changes would help liberate rather than squelch the passion of management scholars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-403
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Research
  • Tenure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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