As a response to the claims that much of management academic research is irrelevant from the practitioner perspective, this study aims to empirically investigate whether books serve as effective knowledge distribution agents and whether peer‐reviewed publications are used in the development of book content.Design/methodology/approach
A citation analysis of 40 authored and nine edited books was done, followed by a survey of 35 book authors.Findings
This study refutes the previous claims that management academic research has made little impact on the state of practice. Peer‐reviewed sources, such as refereed journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings, are used to develop the content of knowledge management and intellectual capital (KM/IC) books. Even though most business professionals do not directly read academic articles, the knowledge existing in these articles is delivered to them by means of books and textbooks.Practical implications
Scholarly research has played a significant role in developing the KM/IC field. This study confirms the existence of the indirect knowledge dissemination channels where books serve as knowledge transmission agents. Therefore, academics should not change their research behavior. Instead, infrastructure should be developed to facilitate the transition of scholarly knowledge to practitioners. The question is not whether academic research is relevant, instead it is whether it reaches practitioners in the most efficient way.Originality/value
This is the most comprehensive empirical investigation of the role of books in academic knowledge transition ever conducted.