Mutual Value Co-Creation in Practitioner-Academia Collaboration: Competencies for Doing Research in/with(in), for and In-Between Organizations

Rikke Kristine Nielsen

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Abstract

This paper addresses the research practice of practicable research by drawing a map of methodological in-roads to doing research with a view to bridging the practitioner-research gap and producing what has been termed as ‘actionable research’ by engaging closely with practitioners in the research process. The map includes three territories and methodological in-roads for doing research in close collaboration with practitioners with a view to mutual value creation and co-construction: Doing research, in/with(in), for and in-between organizations.
The methodological reflections in the map are illustrated and discussed against the backdrop of a concrete instance of academia-practitioner collaboration, the industrial Ph.D. research project of Group Mindset-Development in Solar A/S. The industrial Ph.D. researcher is seen as a front-runner vis-a-vis a political climate of increasing demands from governments to universities with regards to the ability of research groups to demonstrate co-operation with external stakeholder groups and an illustration of the privileges and pitfalls of doing research in close engagement with practice called for by the increasing academic interest for actionable research. Using empirical data from an on-going practitioner-academia research project, a literature review and inputs from a professional development workshop organized by the author at the
British Academy Management’s annual meeting 20121, a position for doing research in/with(in), for and in-between practice is carved out. Based on the challenges and potential pitfalls inherent in this research position, researcher competencies for successfully handling the research management of the in-between and bridging the academia-practitioner gap in research practice are discussed. Further, competency requirements of both academia and practice as main stakeholders in an industrial Ph.D. project or other projects with the
ambition to create value in both camps simultaneously are debated based on the
methodological map presented.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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