Think Tank Comparison

This paper sets the stage for an unlikely exploratory analysis comparing business and business school think tanks focused on group development and community building. The paper is based on a recent study of a virtual faculty think tank implemented in the business school of a large online university. Notably, the business school think tank is modeled after think tanks in the industry. Thus, the impetus for the research proposed here will complete a ‘full circle’ when it comes to fruition. First, the business school virtual think tank study and its preliminary findings are summarized as foundational to the exploratory analysis that will later be conducted. The literature on think tanks as venues for group and community development is reviewed. Two theoretical frameworks, Peck’s stages of community and Tuckman’s stages of group development, are examined for relevance to the impending study and with relation to the recently completed study. Research questions are posited. A methodological approach is considered. The significance of the study is scrutinized and plans for future research are investigated.

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Think Tank Comparisons