This paper presents two different forms of research practices: Mode 1 and Mode 2. These forms of knowledge production are adumbrated not so much to demonstrate their radical differences, though there are some, but as a way of calling attention to the fact that, in both modes, static and dynamic competition are at work. It will come as no surprise to academics to be told that their research is carried out in a competitive context. Competition for ideas and for intellectual leadership in a particular field or sub‐field is the bread and butter of academic life. In industry, too, the observation that research takes place in a competitive environment would be uncontentious were it not for the fact that researchers in business management seem reluctant to take on board the uncertainties that competition generates and to put their intellectual energies into developing specific strategies that are appropriate to two diverse forms of competition. The argument moves on to spell out the differences that specify static and dynamic competition, as they occur in the innovation process. This raises the crucial question of the importance of boundary work in generating innovation in both academic and industrial contexts. The nature of boundary work is then related to different types of competition and then to the appropriate organisational imperatives of each. The paper concludes by asking for how much longer can research into business management carry on ignoring the fact that fundamentally different approaches to management are required in these two radically different environments.