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Wednesday, August 5 • 14:30 - 15:00
Building Interactive Learning Ground as Basis for Knowledge Co-Production: Reflection on a Collaborative Industrial Action Research Project

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An important dimension of collaborative university-industry projects is the various learning which involved participants can co-generate, from personal insights to contribution to the answer of scientific research questions and instrumental knowledge of ways to improve industrial practices. Co-creation between academia and industry requires structures and processes of exchange so that learning is enhanced in the interface and interaction between the parties. It has less to do with ordinary project structure and more with the way learning can be enabled between involved parties through building interactive learning grounds linking the parties in an organization for learning. The paper is based on experience and reflection on a case involving collaboration between participants from ABB, Ericsson and Mälardalen University in studying and improving industrial service innovation management pursued through a collaborative action research oriented approach. (Reason &Bradbury, 2008, Lindhult, 2005).

The purpose of the paper is to clarify the character of such learning ground with groups of participants from different organization co-generating learning, and identify challenges in building a sustainable platform for learning. Challenges involve e.g. developing a common ground of visions, goals and commitments as well as norms for interaction, integrate and combine different learning interests and motivations to participate, finding and creating time and resources for interaction, space for reflection and developing mutual understanding and language, achieving fruitful exchange between diversity of professional experience and positions academic as well as industrial, adapting the processes to emerging changes in organizational contexts and conditions for participation, and create continuation of interaction beyond formal termination of projects. The theoretical background used is experiential learning theory (Kolb, 1984) as well as of organizational learning and learning organization, and particularly pragmatic theory of inquiry (Dewey, 1938), collaborative inquiry (Heron, 1996), and participatory action research and interactive research (Reason&Bradbury, 2008, Aagaard Nielsen&Svensson, 2006, Svensson, Ellström&Brulin, 2007, Johannisson, Gunnarsson&Stjernberg, 2008). Methodologically the experiential and empirical basis is ongoing dialogue and reflection on organization of the collaboration and outcomes in terms of learning. Empirical material is both formative and summative, particularly follow up discussions at project meetings, and summing up learning experience in final project phases. A focus is on clarifying the various kinds of learning of participants, in what situations they occur, and how existing conditions are enabling or restricting learning. Additional cases of collaborative research and development projects of participants is used as enriching and comparative material. The result is a case description and reflection on various learning effects and in what way it has occurred, as well as a model of interactive learning platform including sources of challenges in enabling of such a platform. It is particularly contributing to a more systemic and emergent view of learning and knowledge generation in co-creation processes and the challenge of combining a plurality of experiences, participants and perspectives in achieving high quality, co-generative learning.

Presenter / Artist
avatar for Erik Lindhult

Erik Lindhult

Mälardalen University
ISSS Two Day

Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:30 - 15:00 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany