TEST 3 READING PART 3
In terms of pure quantity of research and debate, business schools have performed amazingly in promoting management
as a distinctive activity. No other discipline has produced as much in such a short period. It is unclear yet how much of
it will stand the test of time, but for sheer industry, the business school deserve credit. Not a day goes by without
another wave of research papers, books, articles, and journals.
In these terms, schools have produced a generally accepted theoretical basis for management. When it comes to
knowledge creation, however, they find themselves in difficulties. They are caught between the need for academic
rigour and for real-world business relevance, which tend to pull in opposite directions. The desire to establish management
as a credible discipline leads to research that panders to traditional academic criteria. The problem for business school
researchers is that they seek the approval of their academic peers rather than the business community. In the United
States this has led to the sort of grand ‘paper clip counting’ exercises that meet demands for academic rigour but fail
to add one iota to the real sum of human knowledge.
Business schools have too often allowed the constraints of the academic world to cloud their view of the real world.
Business school researchers seek provable theories – rather than helpful theories. They have championed a prescriptive
approach to management based on analysis and, more recently, on fashionable ideas that soon disappear into the ether.
The ‘one best way’ approach encourages researchers to mould the idiosyncrasies of managerial reality into their tightly
defined models of behaviour. Figures and statistics are fitted into linear equations and tidy models. Economists and
other social scientists label this cure smoothing. Meanwhile, reality continually refuses to co-operate.
Central to this is the tension between relevance and rigour. In a perfect world, there would be no need to choose
between the two. But in the business school world, the need to satisfy academic criteria and be published in journals
often tilts the balance away from relevance. In other words, it is often easier to pursue quantifiable objectives than
it is to add anything useful to the debate about management. To a large extent, the entire business school system works
against useful, knowledge-creating research. Academics have five years in which to prove themselves if they are to make
the academic grade. It seems long enough. But it can take two or even three years to get into a suitable journal. They
therefore have around three years, probably less, to come up with an area of interest and carry out meaningful and
original research. This is a demanding timescale. The temptation must be to slice up old data in new ways rather than
pursue genuinely groundbreaking, innovative research.
It is a criticism also made by some business school insiders. “Academic journals tend to find more and more techniques
for testing more and more obscure theories. They are asking trivial questions and answering them exactly. There has to
be a backlash,” says Julian Birkinshaw of London Business School. In large part, the problem goes back to a time when
business schools were trying to establish themselves. Up until the 1960s, American business schools were dismissed a
s pseudo-academic institutions, including the universities of which they often formed a part, regarded them as a little
more than vocational colleges. Since then, most of the leading schools have undergone major reassessments and
introduced sweeping changes. However, it is questionable whether those changes have gone far enough.
15、What does the first paragraph suggest about the research generated by business schools?
A Its quality is variable.
B Its lasting value is uncertain.
C It has always been produced too quickly.
D It has had no influence on management.
16、In paragraph two, the writer argues that business school research
A takes a negative view of the business community.
B has failed to give credibility to management as a discipline
C is directed at the wrong audience.
D does not stand up to academic scrutiny.
17 In the third paragraph, the writer criticizes the theories of management produced by business schools for being
18、In the fourth paragraph, the writer says that the business school system causes academics to
A be satisfied with reinterpreting previous research
B avoid complicated business issues
C concentrate on very narrow fields of study.
D focus on topics no longer relevant to business needs.
19、What do we learn about business schools in the last paragraph?
A They are reluctant to admit to failings.
B They resent criticism of their academic journal.
C They used to be looked down on by other institutions.
D They are comfortable with the current situation.
20、What is the writer’s purpose in this text?
A to express regret at the growth of business schools
B to point out a weakness in the approach of business schools
C to criticize business school for producing bad academics
D to forecast the eventual collapse of business schools
15题，答案是第一段的这么一句：It is unclear yet how much of it will stand the test of time,能否禁受住时间的检验还是个未知数。所以选B：价值能否持续还是不确定的
16题，答案是第二段的这么一句：The problem for business school researchers is that they seek the approval of their academic peers rather than the business community。他们追求的是学术同行而不是商业团体的认可。也就是说，作者认为学术研究应该为现实社会，即商业团体做贡献，不是成为学术界里互相认可的工具。答案选C：观众不对。应该是做给business community看的。
17题，问第三段，作者对商业学校的管理理论的批评是什么。理解第三段甚至整篇文章的意思不难做出选择。作者认为商业学校过分追求理论的证明，而不是有用的理论。答案在这一句里面揭示了：The ‘one best way’ approach encourages researchers to mould（模子） the idiosyncrasies（特性）of managerial reality into their tightly defined models of behaviour。将实际管理的特性套进牢牢限制的行为模型里。意思是要让现实来适应僵硬的学术模型。答案选D：inflexible，僵硬的，不易变化的。
18题，这个题目有点迷惑性，很容易误选C或者D，要严格按照原文提供的信息来。可原文的信息实在忒隐晦忒绕了。第四段有这么一句：To a large extent, the entire business school system works against useful, knowledge-creating research。整个商业学术系统就是和有用的、创造知识的研究相背离的。这句后面紧接着阐述了怎么个背离法。他们得有五年的时间来证明自己的academic grade，看起来时间好像很长。可是这当中的花两到三年的时间来选择合适的杂志，只剩不到三年的时间来进行研究。最后来了句总结：The temptation must be to slice up old data in new ways rather than pursue genuinely groundbreaking, innovative research。用新的方法来分割旧的数据，而不是追求创造性的研究。Slice up old data in news ways，那么还是证明旧的理论，新瓶装旧酒。所以这题选A：重复解释先前的研究。
19题，答案是最后一段的这么一句：Up until the 1960s, American business schools were dismissed as pseudo-academic （伪学术）institutions。Dismiss as，treat as unworthy of serious consideration，对什么不屑的意思。Pseudo是假的。所以这题答案选C，有个look down on，正好和dismiss as对应。
20题，作者写这篇文章的目的是什么。很明显，这篇文章通篇都是对business school的指责，过分关注学术研究，不管这种研究对实际的business community有多大用处，形式很僵硬，说白了，就是指出business school的缺点。所以选B。C选项似是而非，的确是批评business school，但不是bad academic，只是认为business school鼓捣出来的东西不那么helpful，D选项也不对，在原文基础上自己发挥了下，没有预测。