A Pragmatic Business Education: The Return of Common Sense

International Journal of Applied Institutional Governance (ISSN: 1747-6259) Volume 1 Issue 2

Andrew Armitage
Anglia University


Business education in the higher education has in recent times focused upon the needs to chase research funding from the Research Assessment Exercise which has polarised the Ruskin 17 and the rest in terms of perceived quality and outputs from research outputs. This paper argues the case that the major thrust of business education is based upon “hard” facts and the “bottom line” despite business leaders calling for more of the soft skills of the business environment to be taught. Therefore this paper returns to the origins of business modelling and addresses the challenges the notion that the business research endeavour has to follow the objectivist/quantitative paradigm thinking as a means to gain credibility amongst its peers and that competing ends of the paradigm continuum of quantitative and qualitative research should be the new way of tackling business problems and formulating solutions. Whilst both extremes of these worlds views are not in themselves in valid human constructs it has to be acknowledged that undertaking investigation into human affairs is not a dichotomous journey and that the “ Third Way ” located within the pragmatic paradigm has much to offer those who engage real world, practitioner-based research. Moreover the link between what C Wright Mills coined as the “self-methodologist” has much in common with the tenets of the pragmatist philosophy of researching and understanding the world(s) that we inhabit. Therefore a thesis will be advanced that draws together the sociology of C Wright Mills and that of the “ Third Way ” as a means to re-awaken what the research endeavour is really trying to achieve.

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