BRINGING THE HEART AND SOUL BACK IN: COLLABORATIVE INQUIRY AND THE DBA

Amanda Hay, Dalvir Samra-Fredericks
2018 Academy of Management Learning & Education  
BRINGING THE HEART AND SOUL BACK IN: COLLABORATIVE INQUIRY AND THE DBA Waddock and Lozano (2013) propose that there is an urgent need to bring the 'heart and soul' back into management education. Indeed, its absence has also been implicated in the plethora of recent scandals and the global financial crisis. We suggest that, in part, such issues are attributable to a continued over reliance on a scientific and detached form of knowing which displaces particular 'human characteristics' and in so
more » ... ristics' and in so doing, downplays our inherent connections to others. In contrast, we identify the importance of embracing a supplementary form of knowing-collaborative inquiry which potentially restores our connections to others in ways which provide opportunities for a more heartfelt and soulful management practice. Specifically, we extend Van de Ven and Johnson's (2006) notion of collaborative inquiry to consider how it is mobilized in the context of a UK DBA program and in turn examine the impact this move accomplishes. Drawing upon a detailed analysis of twenty students' reflective journals, we illustrate the ways in which they develop a form of empathy. Crucially, we found that this was one important means for (re)-connecting to others and in ways which begin to bring in a sense of heart and soul back into management education. Waddock and Lozano (2013) propose that there is an urgent need to bring the 'heart and soul' back into management education. Further, its absence has also been implicated in the plethora of relatively recent scandals and the global financial crisis (Nonaka, Chia, Holt, & Peltokorpi, 2014; Ghoshal, 2005; Khurana, 2010). We suggest that, in part, such issues are attributable to management education's continued over reliance on a scientific and detached knowing which tends to displace 'human characteristics' encompassing facets of heart and soul and in so doing, downplays our inherent connections to others (Yanow, 2009). Instead, we identify the importance of embracing a supplementary form of knowing -collaborative inquiry which develops a form of empathy which potentially restores our connections to others, and which consequently provides opportunities for a more heartfelt and soulful management practice which we define shortly. Specifically, we suggest that Van de Ven and Johnson's (2006) notion of 'engaged scholarship' which has collaborative forms of inquiry at its centre offers educators one tangible starting point for enhancing a capacity for a sense of heart and soul. Yet, their framework has been confined to a research context with its promise for facilitating learning left unexplored. Here, we suggest that DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) programs which, to date, have received scant empirical attention (Banerjee & Morley, 2013) provide one important learning site where discussions of collaborative inquiry are especially apposite since they bring together academics and highly experienced senior practitioners-our studentswith an aim of developing 'researching professionals'. We elaborate on this claim by drawing on our involvement with a particular UK DBA program to answer two related research questions 1) how is collaborative inquiry mobilized in a learning context, and 2) what impact does this accomplish? To understand more local, practical and nuanced forms of collaborative inquiry and its impact, we analyzed twenty reflective journals submitted by students as part of their program assessment. We offer two related contributions. First, we extend Van de Ven and Johnson's (2006) notion of collaborative inquiry to consider how it is mobilized in a learning context. Second, we consider the impact of this form of inquiry through our analysis of DBA students' reflective journals. We illustrate the ways in which collaborative inquiry as mobilized here, and as something captured and described by student practitioners themselves, created impact which extended beyond rational and instrumental concerns of advancing research knowledge (Van de Ven & Johnson, 2006) to one which developed a form of empathy. Crucially, as we will see, this is established as one important means for (re)-connecting to others and ultimately bringing a sense of heart and soul back into management education. This may potentially lessen future business scandals and crises too. Our article is structured as follows. We begin by considering two forms of knowing in management education -detached knowing and collaborative knowing and outline how the latter provides opportunities for developing a form of empathy which potentially brings a specific notion of heart and soul back in. Having described Van de Ven and Johnson's (2006) particular form of collaborative inquiry, we consider how this is also relevant to the context of a UK DBA program. We next describe our diary method as a means to understand how collaborative inquiry is mobilized in this context as well as the impact it accomplishes. Our analysis of students' diaries is then presented followed by our discussion and implications for management educators.
doi:10.5465/amle.2017.0020 fatcat:nkvcoxi4cvc2pmkzxr2sxllewe