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A Call for University-Based Business Schools to “Lower Their Walls:” Collaborating With Other Academic Departments in Pursuit of Social Value

Currie, Graeme and Davies, Julie and Ferlie, Ewan (2017) A Call for University-Based Business Schools to “Lower Their Walls:” Collaborating With Other Academic Departments in Pursuit of Social Value. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 15 (4). pp. 742-755. ISSN 1537-260X

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Abstract

The walls around many business schools remain high, eroding interdisciplinary education and research collaboration that might address some grand challenges facing society. In response, we adopt a public interest perspective and argue business schools should lower their walls to engage with other academic departments to address such grand challenges in a way that engenders social value. We identify forces for lower and higher walls that surround business schools and influence prospects for interdisciplinary collaboration. We highlight examples of successful relationships between business schools and other academic departments, which offer some optimism for a reimagined public interest mission for business schools. Finally, we draw out some boundary conditions to take a more contingent view of possibilities for such interdisciplinary collaboration encompassing business schools.

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