ILA Podcast

Torturing the Data Into Confessing

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr. Dennis Tourish


Scott talks with Dr. Dennis Tourish, editor of the SAGE journal Leadership, on the state of leadership scholarship the need for scholarship to speak to the world in a more timely manner.

Quotes From This Episode

  • “Too much of our research has driven around what statisticians call p-hacking, where you keep on running statistical analysis beyond the point of reason to torture the data into confessing.”
  • “It’s entirely possible to have a satisfactory and interesting career without ever publishing an article in the Academy of Management Review. And very few academics will do it. So by that standard, we are all pretty much failures.”
  • “I think it’s more important to have an enjoyable career, to do work that matters to us, and remain interested, focused, and curious, above all be curious, throughout our academic careers.”
  • “The world is moving fast and our scholarship needs to reflect that in a more timely manner than it does. I don’t mean that we should cut corners on our work. But we can certainly offer interesting ideas in a more timely manner than we seem to have been doing in the past.”

About Dr. Dennis Tourish

Dr. Dennis Tourish is Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the editor of the journal Leadership, and the author of several books including The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership, published and Management Studies in Crisis: Fraud, Deception and Meaningless Research. He is a proponent of the Responsible Research of Business and Management Network an organization that envisions a world where business and management research is used in practice to improve the lives of people.

Learn More About Dennis’ Work

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.