Theory and practice: the experience of marketing graduates
Purpose ‐ The paper aims to explore the experience of graduates in the workplace. The aim is to study how these experiences differ from the expectations of the graduates and the aspirations of their academics. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research involved two phases: first, a survey was conducted of marketing academics. This survey examined how the academics conceived the relevance of their teaching strategies to the work environment in small-to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Second, marketing graduates who are employed by SMEs were interviewed. The interviews explored the experience of graduates in the SME workplace environment. Findings ‐ The findings from this paper indicate that a graduate's perception of the skills and competencies they will use in the workplace are different to the reality of working in an SMEs. Practical implications ‐ Graduates need to be cognisant that although academic theory and principles have value in the planning of workplace activities their employers will focus appraisal on the outcomes/outputs of their actions rather than the theoretical basis for these actions. Furthermore, the reality of the workplace is that the application of theory and subject-specific knowledge is only one element of the activities required by SMEs. Originality/value ‐ The paper focuses on research that seeks to enhance the understanding of the experience of graduates in the workplace.