Risky RAE business

September 30, 2005

I read with interest the opinions of Robert May ("Forget the deckchairs - are we on the right ship?", September 23) and Nancy Rothwell (Columnist, September 23) on the research assessment exercise.

The fact that the RAE process has the potential for research to become driven by the publishing agenda, which addresses an academic peer group rather than practitioners, is a concern for business because it risks losing relevance to practitioners. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, which funds business research, is concerned that by primarily rewarding academic research that is divorced from practical application, we risk having entrants to the profession taught and trained by people who have never qualified or practised themselves.

The RAE process needs to encourage research to be more grounded in business by rewarding work that is undertaken with its application to business in mind.

G. Roland Kaye, chair of the CIMA RAE forum and professor of management accounting, University of East Anglia

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