Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Formal Research vs. Business Proposal

In his 2007 article, Jeffrey Pfeffer identified a “preoccupation with theory and an interest in novelty”, (p. 1338), as a significant problem plaguing formal research in business schools. Describing this phenomenon as a “quest for ‘what’s new’ rather than ‘what’s true’, (p. 1339), Pfeffer argues, that competition in business schools has produced uniformity and stifled innovation. Pfeffer notes that rather than build upon the evidence-based knowledge that has furthered other disciplines, the pressure to publish in ranked journals has forced researchers to disdain work that informs professionals. Researchers prefer to concentrate on idiosyncrasies of previously published theoretical work that has little effect on real underlying processes in the business world noting that “superficial aspects are imitated that have little effect on underlying processes”, (p. 1341). Additionally while research in academia focuses on what works, it neglects what doesn’t work, when knowing what doesn’t work can be as important as knowing what does, (p. 1338).

Buckley, Ferris, Bernardin, and Harvey, (1988, p.36), identified the same problem when they stated that teaching in business schools has become more theoretical and less applied. Buckley et al. also stated that “HRM practitioners are relatively familiar with research performed in this area, but they fail to see many practical applications in it”, (p. 32), when analyzing the results of a survey they gave to 113 human
Both articles postulate that corporations and universities need to become more adept at forming partnerships so that the research generated at business schools focuses more on real world applications and is therefore directed to a broader audience. Buckley et al., (1988, p. 31), explicitly stated that there is a “lack of follow through in developing business-university partner relationships”, while Pfeffer states that management has failed to follow evidence based practice resulting from academic professional practice relationships that exist in other disciplines noting, “the closer connection with professional practice – not from occasional lecture or executive program but from coproduction of teaching and research and more regular interactions – are features that I see, at least to a somewhat greater extent, in engineering, medicine, and education.” (p. 1342).

According to Bezerman & Moore, (2009), “researchers have found that people rely on a number or simplifying strategies, or rules of thumb, when making decisions”, (p. 6). Managers in business situations rely upon heuristics as well when adopting solutions. In the real world, a business proposal must be viewed, above all things, as feasible. An idea that hasn’t been successfully implemented previously in another setting has little chance for serious
consideration by a firm. Generally corporations seek to implement strategies that correct observed problems or strategies that gain a competitive advantage. These strategies can be surveyed internally, documented, and then presented in a business proposal. They inevitably choose practical real-world applications that have been tried by other firms and have been proven successful for implementation. More often than not these applications do not come from research by academic researchers as their works appear to be predominantly directed towards a scholarly audience. Although they may be influenced by academic research, real-world solutions are more likely to come from books and journals marketed towards business managers. These books and journals may actually even be written by the same academicians engaging in formal research who are merely directing their research towards a difference audience.


Bazerman, M. H., & Moore, D. A. (2009). Judgment in Managerial Decision Making (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

Buckley, M.R., Ferris, G.R., Bernadin, J. & Harvey, M.G. (1998). The disconnect between the science and practice of management. Business Horizons, 41(2), 31-38. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey (2007). A modest proposal: how we might change the process and product of managerial research. Academy of Management Review, 50(6), 1334-1345. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

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David Hector Thibodeau

1045 Wylie Street SE • Atlanta, GA 30316


Professional Experience:

Georgia College & State University - Milledgeville, GA 31061 2008 - Present

­Serials/Acquisitions Coordinator

­• Establish policies and procedures for the efficient operation of the Serials and Acquisitions Department, oversees database maintenance and quality, and processing of materials.

­• Supervise full-time faculty, staff, and student positions.

­• Manage electronic serials collection using electronic management software systems.

­• Update bibliographic holdings for serials collection using standard library utilities.

­• Direct all major projects and daily activities involving the management of the serials collection.

­• Oversee participation in National Library of Medicine’s DOCLINE ILL program.

­• Meet with department faculty to review their acquisitions needs and serve as a library liaison with academic departments.

­• Provides assistance and advice to the Dean/University Librarian in the overall administration of the library, including strategic planning and the establishment of overall goals and objectives.

­• Assist library administration in monitoring the budget and expenditures, recommends equipment, supplies, personnel, and other needs. Perform fiscal period close in Voyager integrated library system.

­• Serve as primary liaison to vendors and as the technical contact for electronic databases, including setting up trials, negotiating licensing agreements, managing SLAs, and authoring RFQs and other correspondence.

­• Participate in collection development to support the curriculum by recommending acquisitions and participating in the evaluation of current collections.

­• Develop and prepare statistical and narrative reports.

­• Provide reference services as assigned.

KPMG LLP - Atlanta, GA 10/2003 - 10/2007

­Southeast Area Library Associate

­• Relocated from Miami to Atlanta by KPMG due to assuming additional offices in 2006.

­• Reference, research, and collection management for fifteen Southeast area libraries.

­• Developed on-line training sessions for proprietary accounting research platform.

­• Set up, developed, and administered SharePoint internal collaboration web site.

­• Liaison to National Operations teams on SharePoint development.

­• Redeveloped external acquisitions web site to be high functioning and suitable for firm-wide use.

­• Collaborated with marketing department to improve collateral for delivery to clients and targets.

­• Account contact and administrator for firm-wide on-line subscription.

­• Coordinated development of the Latin American Tax Handbook between the European Tax Centre, the Latin American Tax Center, and the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation.

­• Led a team to develop an electronic tool to survey library users.

­• Appointed Work Environment Initiative Local Action Committee Representative in South Florida.

­• Promoted from Area Library Coordinator to Area Library Associate and relocated from Boston to Miami in 2003; originally responsible for library collections, acquisitions, vendor relations, and accounts in 13 Northeast area offices.

KPMG LLP - Boston, MA 03/200- - 10/2003

­Northeast Area Library Coordinator

­• Implemented integrated library system software in area libraries.

­• Assisted in creating a collection development database on MS Access to track expenditures.

­• Substantially decreased print purchases through resource sharing and eliminating duplicative materials.

­• Developed electronic process for Partners to select and order professional literature annually that resulted in $60K savings in the Northeast in the first year, (project adopted firm wide).

­• Piloted on-line access to tax literature platform in Northeast Area that resulted in over $25K cost savings in Northeast area and a wider distribution of resources, (project adopted firm wide).

­• Coordinated and developed training programs for Lexis/Nexis, Westlaw, and other information platforms for professionals and support staff, (project adopted firm wide).


American Intercontinental University

­• 2010 – Present, MBA – Project Management Concentration

­Simmons College--Boston, MA

­• Summer 2000; audited - Knowledge Management

­• Summer 1999; audited- Management of Information Technology

­• 1996-1998 MLIS, Graduate School of Library and Information Science

­Boston College--Newton, MA

­• 1984-1988 BA, College of Arts and Sciences: Double Major: English and Psychology

­Hebrew University--Jerusalem, Israel

­• Summer 1988 & summer 1990, Assistant Archaeological Field Supervisor and associated graduate level classes.


Georgia Leadership Institute – State Personnel Administration

­• 2009 – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

­Florida Library Leadership Program -- Tallahassee, FL

­• 2005-2006 - Year-long comprehensive series of learning sessions that focuses on developing an understanding of leadership, within a conceptual framework and practical applications.


Emory University - Center for Lifelong Learning – Atlanta, GA

­• 2008 - Emory University: Management Certification.

­• Courses included: Essentials of Personnel Management, Win-Win Negotiations, Essentials of Supervision, Essentials of Motivation, and Essentials of Coaching for Managers.

­New Horizons--Boston, MA

­• 2002 - Certified Internet Webmaster – Foundation Fundamentals

­• Courses included: Networking, Internet, and Web-Page Authoring Fundamentals.

Professional Memberships:

SLA Georgia Chapter Board Member 2009 - Present

­Tennis Club II Condominium Association President, Fort Lauderdale, FL 2005-2006

­Member: ALA, NASIG, CIP

Skills / Strengths:

• Lexis/Nexis, Westlaw, Factiva, ProQuest, EBSCOhost, & other information databases.

­• Conversational French, some Spanish

­• MS office: Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, SharePoint, Visio, and Project.