On Reproduction of Form in Academia and Management Research
Why does academia collectively produce so many papers? Why are so many papers so boring to read, repetitive, and unoriginal? Why are academics spending so much time of their life and work to write all these papers, with up to 95% chance to be rejected by (top-tier) journals? This piece aims to understand how the academic system has developed to its current state, what the meaning is of the enormous production of academic papers. It does so via using the concept of ‘Reproduction of Form’, which was originally coined by anthropologist Yurchak, to understand the perfect reproduction of discourse in Post-Stalin Soviet Union. This concept allows not only to understand why academic papers are formulated in such uniform ways, but also why underpinning ideologies in management research are appearing, yet hardly discussed. This piece finishes with a discussion of proposed alternatives, and pleas for variation of form and practice, to advocate for more pluralism in the ways we conduct our research and write about it.
Filippo Andrei, PhD student in Sociology and Social Research
Enrico Cristofoletti, PhD student in Economics and Management