Nurturing novelty: Toulmin's greenhouse, journal rankings and the evolution of knowledge

Renwick, D.W.S. ORCID: 0000-0001-6819-5746, Breslin, D. and Price, I., 2019. Nurturing novelty: Toulmin's greenhouse, journal rankings and the evolution of knowledge. European Management Review. ISSN 1740-4754

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Reflecting on Toulmin’s 1972 conceptualization of the academic research process, we fast-forward his thinking to the current climate of academic excellence and associated journal ranking lists. We argue that the formal and informal use of such rankings throughout the hierarchy of research institutions creates an artificial environment within which favoured ‘branches’ of knowledge continue to flourish at the expense of new conceptual saplings. This ‘greenhouse’ effect might result in the creation of a knowledge tree which is increasingly unfit to the external world for which it is intended. We thus step back and examine wider implications of these factors on the broader evolution of knowledge in the research process. In sum, we argue for a Toulminian explanation of the process by which journal ranking lists reduce academic innovation and creativity, bias academic selection and constrain dissemination processes in the academic community.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: European Management Review
Creators: Renwick, D.W.S., Breslin, D. and Price, I.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 25 April 2019
ISSN: 1740-4754
Rights: © 2018 European Academy of Management
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 27 Nov 2018 14:55
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2021 08:11

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