Going Public: Debating Matters of Concern As an Imperative for Management Scholars


Published: 17Jul2019

Authors: Dror Etzion and Joel Gehman

Publication: Academy of Management Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Pages 480 – 492, April 2019


In this review essay, we assess the shale revolution through the lens of management theory and practice. First, we contend that fracking in America is a textbook example of “good” management. Nonetheless, as we subsequently document, fracking’s influence extends beyond immediate impacts in many social, environmental, and economic spheres, often with negative repercussions. Although management scholars have remained on the sidelines, academics from a variety of other disciplines have actively participated in this debate. We identify several topics where management scholars seem positioned to contribute well-informed opinions on fracking.  We close the essay by posing suggestions for what such public engagement might look like. First, we consider the kinds of problems that might lend themselves to public debate. Second, we tackle questions related to the ground rules for such debates, in terms of potential norms. Finally, we differentiate the kinds of public debates we have in mind from other forms of academic relevance. Essentially, we advocate for “going public” as a complement to rigorous and evidence-based academic research.

Desautels 22

In recognition of research excellence as it relates to publications in top-tier management journals, our Faculty has compiled a list of high quality, peer-reviewed management journals, which is referred to as the Desautels 22.