This is a photo of Prof. Michal Grajek, ESMT, teaching.


The importance of producing top quality research with real practical relevance and impact

by Michał Grajek, Associate Professor and Director of Research, ESMT

As Director of Research at ESMT, I am delighted to have the opportunity to showcase some interesting and exciting research coming out of ESMT in the recent past. We are extremely proud of our faculty members, whose work frequently appears in prestigious international journals and leading business media publications. At ESMT, our goal is not just to publish high quality research in influential outlets, but it is also to ensure that this research has a strong and obvious practical relevance. Research should continually contribute to course content, improve the range and depth of services and programs on offer, and create a regular dialogue with academics, business managers and policy makers.

ESMT faculty members are encouraged and facilitated to engage in academic research and publish articles in leading academic journals. This research is time-consuming and publication in the top journals with rejection rates often as high as 95% is a very competitive undertaking. When an author is rejected, he or she must seek an alternative route to publication and repeat the same complicated and lengthy process. While many would say the peer review system is not ideal, most would agree that it acts as a strong quality check. However, with ESMT faculty members devoting half of their time or more to research, this begs the question, is it all worth it?

There are many reasons why we feel it is worth it. Research and academic legitimacy is essential to compete at the highest level. It creates a valuable exchange of ideas with academics and business leaders worldwide. This scholarly process of inquiry not only ensures that ESMT’s faculty members are intellectually fit but ensures constant innovation in the programs and services we offer. Despite being a relatively young business school in a very competitive global marketplace, ESMT faculty members have published 149 peer-reviewed journal articles of which 43 appeared in A+ and A journals since its campus opening in 2006. Last year, ESMT received a very important international accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This accreditation is particularly important as it focuses on the quality of the school’s faculty in teaching and research.

But for all the journal publications and academic accreditations, where do we see the real benefits of this research in practice for businesses? One very important example is through the executive education programs we offer. Research provides credibility in this area, ensures a high quality product, a fresh perspective, and new ideas. As the “business school founded by business,” ESMT continues to have a very close and vibrant working relationship with its client companies. A high percentage of our graduates go on to apply what they learned at ESMT within senior management roles in these companies. Finally, some of our faculty members move between academic and policy advisory roles. This revolving door is a hugely important aspect of research in practice for any business school which wants to compete at the highest level, and it is something we will see more often in the years ahead.