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Participatory research on innovation – Methodological approaches to challenges in the field and practical experiences

Daniela Wuehr, Sabine Pfeiffer and Petra Schuett

International Journal of Action Research, 2015, vol. 11, issue 1-2, 93-117

Abstract: Innovation processes in organisations are subject to profound changes: For example economisation, standardisation, and intensification of labour. It is a key challenge to conduct participatory research in this organisational set-ting, especially when increasing workloads of interview partners form a strict schedule for necessary interview or discussion time. The article in-troduces a participatory research design to address these challenges. The methodology was developed and applied in the research project “Smart Innovation” which studied impediments and promoters of innovation in the mechanical engineering branch. It combines agile principles with clas-sical elements of participatory research. Interview partners are involved with active parts throughout the research process and seen as experts of their work. Yet, participation in hierarchical organisations and under time and market pressure entails a potential for undesired limitations and side-effects. In fact, participative methods can enhance economic tendencies and backfire on emancipation.

Keywords: participation; innovation; innovation processes; action research; agile method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 J21 J24 J53 O15 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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International Journal of Action Research is currently edited by Werner Fricke, Richard Ennals, Oyvind Palshaugen, Sabine Pfeiffer and Danilo Streck, editor-in chief

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