Academic management theory has a serious utilization problem. This article argues that it stands a better chance of being adopted for instrumental use if the theory is based on the paradigm of the "design sciences", like medicine or engineering. Most academic
management research is based on the paradigm of the "explanatory sciences", like physics. The mission of these sciences is to describe, explain and predict, while the core mission of the design sciences is to develop "tested and grounded technological rules". The paradigm of the design sciences is applied to management research and I discuss the potential of solving its utility problem by combining both types of research.
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