Researchers as Boundary Spanners

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Abstrakt

For universities to accomplish their ‘third mission’, researchers are supposed to engage in problem solving processes with external actors. Rather than developing new collaborative approaches in dealing with these practitioners, this paper elaborates on action research as a method capable of spanning organizational boundaries. Based on the researcher’s own experiences with action research, two comparative case studies have been selected because of their similarities in practice and their differences in outcome, which makes them ideal for studying a researcher performing boundary spanning activities. To be involved in an organization’s change process and concurrently involve practitioners in the research process calls upon a certain degree of chaos, uncertainty and messiness but when contact and negotiation has been completed and knowledge has been exchanged in an effort to advance the change process in the organization and certify preliminary findings in the research process, the researcher has succeeded as a boundary spanner. However, this study has shown that boundary spanning activities such as establishing contact, upholding contact, re-establishing contact, negotiating collaborative terms, and satisfy practitioners’ non-research related demands takes a great amount of time away from doing research, which emphasize the necessity of earmarking university resources to researchers that assumes the role as a boundary spanner.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftGlobe: A Journal of Language, Culture and Communication
Vol/bind9
Sider (fra-til)48-56
Antal sider9
ISSN2246-8838
StatusUdgivet - 16 mar. 2020

Emneord

  • Entrepreneurial universities
  • action research
  • boundary spanner

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