Article Information

How Social Science Research Can Help Management
Ferguson, Lawrence L.
8/4  (Summer 1966): 3-10

Thoughtful, successful businessman for a good many years have sought help from social scientists in developing better ways of dealing with the increasingly complex human relationship problems that they face every day. And for a good many years, the help they have received has been considerably less than their expectations and the inferred promises of the researchers. Professor Mason Haire's recent article echoes succinctly many managers' feelings in its subtitle: "Why have the social sciences contributed so little to the practices of management? Why is there such a lack of developmental effort? And, if we accept what seems very evident-that today there is a considerable gap between the social scientists on the one hand and the practitioner on the other-what would be a reasonable first step toward bridging this void? How can we achieve active collaboration between the "opposing" managerial and social scientist sides? How can we build a bridge leading to a much improved understanding by each of the culture, background, practices, and problems of the other? This article has two purposes, both of which seek to suggest answers to these questions: (1)Examining some of the differences which to date have limited effective collaboration between social scientists and managers on important problem areas of common interest. (2) Suggesting ways of overcoming these difficulties and mutually achieving highly rewarding relationships.

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