I have always had an attraction to learn new things. To theorize the “what if’s” of life. To read highly academic writing and truly understand the nuggets of gold couched in the elaborate formulated vocabulary. It has become somewhat of a treasure hunt. I must decipher the code and find the treasure that the academic has hidden in plain sight. One must weave through the labyrinth of polysyllabic words, cut through the jungle of amalgamated and disseminated verbiage, and dig through the bedrock of deep thought and find both the meaning and the madness of the coded treasure. Then, and only then, can you begin the process of bringing that treasure into usefulness for the community. This process of extracting the wisdom from academic theory into practice is what Caroline Ramsey describes in her two academic papers.
Scholarship of practice is indeed very intentional and purposeful of both finding the treasures in the theoretical/academic realm and bringing them forth into the “real/practical” world where the “rubber meets the road.” It is this “dance” that the scholarly manager/leader must participate in to gain the benefits that are often hidden and therefore lost in the academic halls. But when done properly, the dance is oh so sweet and many are enriched with the benefits that the dance produces.
What I have learned and so appreciate about this scholarship of practice is the relational and contextual aspect that Ramsey brings out. As she states “a scholarship of practice recognizes the constitutive importance of ongoing relations with management practice.”
It is in this dance that the manger/leader learns from academic theory but does not simply force his new found treasures on his followers but rather like a Maestro di Cappella the leader orchestrates his people into a relational co-constructive symphony where the best generative practices are brought forth. Ramsey address this as a contextual management theory that leads to emergent practices. It is not “simply applying a theory, but allowing a wide array of literature to provoke the leader into different lines of exploration.” It is this “provocative use of theory that promotes practice-as-learning, for it brings into focus a generative conversation between symptoms, ideas, work context, and action in the creation of changed practice.”
It is in this dance that the manager/leader engages with ideas found in academic theory then through his/her relational matrixes with his fellow workers brings forth a practice that benefits all of the players. This dance is occurring moment by moment in relationships that are creating and recreating ideas in the midst of practice. It is this scholarship of learning that assists both leader and the followers in becoming the best team that they can be accomplish the best that they can accomplish.
This dance is not always easy, nor does it always work according to one’s plan. Theory seldom operates accordingly in the field of practice. Relationship are hard to maintain. Personalities rub. Egos bid for position and prominence. Deadlines add pressure. Superiors add stress. All of which, squelch the dance. However, dancing with theory on the moving floor of practice is where the best music is heard and the best moves are preformed. Shall we dance?
 Caroline Ramsey, “Management Learning: A Scholarship of Practice Centred on Attention?,” Management Learning, February 11, 2013, 17, doi:10.1177/1350507612473563.
 Caroline Ramsey, “Provocative Theory and a Scholarship of Practice,” Management Learning 42, no. 5 (November 1, 2011): 7.
 Ibid., 4.
 Ibid., 21.