Connecting Theory and Practice

TitleConnecting Theory and Practice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSusskind, L, Susskind, N
JournalNegotiation Journal
Date Published04/2008

Social psychologist Kurt Lewin famously said, “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” Too often, unfortunately, negotiation scholars and practitioners cannot agree on the meaning of good. Some academics look down their noses at what they regard as the limited and anecdotal knowledge of practitioners, while some practitioners think ivory-tower intellectuals quibble about abstractions or conduct toy experiments instead of grappling with the complex challenges of the real world. Many theoreticians and practitioners hold less extreme stances, of course, and a theory–practice gap might be the product not just of disrespect but methodological disputes, specialized and inaccessible professional languages, institutional distance, simple ignorance, or lack of opportunities for cross-pollination.