In this paper we seek to show how aspects of the thinking underpinning the relevance debate can be self-defeating. We consider the relationship between academics and practitioners from a dialogic perspective and perform a textual analysis of the ways in which 'pro-relevance' academics write about research. We use role analysis techniques to highlight the potential for mismatched expectations between academics and practitioners, and then consider an illustrative dialogue between practitioners and academics to develop our view that relevance has its roots in generative dialogic encounters. We conceptualize a modified view of dialogue in the context of organizational research relationships, which we believe offers a useful starting point for co-production of knowledge and understanding.
- management research