Business and Management Education Research: Developing and Assessing Research Streams Using Legitimation Code Theory

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We examine the business and management education (BME) research field along three dimensions of the legitimation code theory (LCT). These dimensions (Specialization, Semantics, and Autonomy) showed different bases for BME knowledge recognition, the extent knowledge is borrowed from other business disciplines, and factors that influence field development. The origin of LCT can be traced to sociological research in education, where perspectives of social control, position, and prestige of ideas were highlighted in the learning environment. We first identified a list of 250 highly cited articles from BME research by way of Harzing’s (2013) Publish or Perish, and then categorized abstracts from these articles into research streams through the TxtViz clustering software. Next, we developed operational definitions of LCT dimensions for the BME field. We then calculated measures to position and assess characteristics of different BME research streams within the field. We expect this study to provide a theoretical framework that will contextualize BME research streams in relation to each other along different LCT dimensions, with consequent insights on within- and across-stream developmental implications. The findings should help BME researchers take a wider perspective and adopt a more cross-disciplinary approach to their work within the emerging LCT framework.




This article is the authors' final published version in Academy of Management Learning & Education, Volume 18, Issue 3, September 2019.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2017.0217. Copyright © Academy of Management.