Theoria cum Praxi? The (In-) Compatibility of Demands in Science and Business World
The necessity for co-operation between (scientific) theory and (management) praxis is apparent more than ever. There are countless parallels in the goals and objectives of social and marketing research, for example, learning more about communities—respectively customers—and explaining their behavior. Extending social research services to businesses can create synergistic effects. On the one hand, the scientists can benefit financially in dimensions not feasible at universities and have a fruitful dialogue with business practitioners. On the other hand, the business management have access to the latest scientific results of high quality before these results are available to competitors as official publications. These opportunities and advantages can no longer permit a prejudice-based, mutual ideological rejection, which can still be found in both spheres. In the course of my "Habilitation" at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), I created a successful method for combining theory with practice. I developed a sociological theory of social structure, which can be put into practice in order to analyze and comprehend the behavior of target groups in marketing. I co-operated with selected furniture manufacturers and received advanced payments during the entire period of my research. In return, these manufacturers received my consulting services. I applied the research findings directly to their business demands after the end of my project. On the one hand, this procedure requires that a scientist is experienced in business affairs and has the ability and readiness for transferring scientific results into every-day practice. On the other hand, management needs to give up short-term thinking of "KISS" (keep it short and simple) and care about understanding things instead of merely describing them. My co-operation in the project and the implementation of "theoria cum praxi" approach was a positive experience, which I will continue using in future research projects.
co-operation business science; target group; social structure; individualization; segment-of-one; business applicability of social research; independence of science