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Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods

Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods OPEN ACCESS

Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: ANU Press
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    Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods
    Book Description:

    Research on real-world problems—like restoration of wetlands, the needs of the elderly, effective disaster response and the future of the airline industry—requires expert knowledge from a range of disciplines, as well as from stakeholders affected by the problem and those in a position to do something about it. This book charts new territory in taking a systematic approach to research integration using dialogue methods to bring together multiple perspectives. It links specific dialogue methods to particular research integration tasks. Fourteen dialogue methods for research integration are classified into two groups: 1. Dialogue methods for understanding a problem broadly: integrating judgements 2. Dialogue methods for understanding particular aspects of a problem: integrating visions, world views, interests and values. The methods are illustrated by case studies from four research areas: the environment, public health, security and technological innovation.  

    eISBN: 978-1-921536-75-5
    Subjects: Sociology
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  1. Research integration is the process of improving the understanding of real-world problems by synthesising relevant knowledge from diverse disciplines and stakeholders. Methods for undertaking research integration have not, however, been well developed or explained. Here, we show how 14 methods developed for dialogue can be useful for research integration.What makes this book unique is that we tease apart components of research integration and match them to particular methods.

    Research integration is essential for effectively investigating real-world problems. Such investigation requires bringing together the insights of different disciplines. For example, examination of the impacts of the encroachment of housing on farm...

  2. In this section, we provide an overview of the dialogue methods, describing how we classify them. It is useful to reiterate that our aim is to present group conversation processes to jointly create meaning and shared understanding about real-world problems by bringing together knowledge from relevant disciplines and stakeholders.

    The challenging issue for identifying relevant dialogue methods and classifying them relates to just what is being integrated. From an initial understanding of what (structured) dialogue might integrate, we developed a list of elements we believed were possibly being integrated—these included facts, judgments, visions, values, interests, epistemologies, time scales, geographical...

  3. The majority of methods we identified were useful for the integration of judgments. Here, we define judgment as the ‘ability to judge justly or wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion [and] the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind’ (Macquarie Dictionary 2005).

    As we described earlier, Yankelovich (1999) went further than this, pointing out that, in making a judgment, people took into account the facts as they understood them, their personal goals and moral values and their sense of what was best for others as well as themselves.


  4. Having discussed 10 dialogue methods for integrating judgments, we turn now to four methods that are useful for understanding particular aspects of a problem—namely, visions, world views, interests and values. A dialogue method addressing each of these is described, illustrated and discussed in this chapter. The methods are: for integrating visions — appreciative inquiry; for integrating world views — strategic assumption surfacing and testing; for integrating interests — principled negotiation; and, for integrating values — ethical matrix.

    We use vision here in the sense of a mental view or image of a goal that does not yet exist in place or time. Visions...

  5. We have presented 14 dialogue methods that can be used to structure research integration. These are group processes to jointly create meaning and shared understanding about real-world problems by bringing together knowledge from relevant discipline experts and stakeholders. Ten are methods for creating broad understanding about a problem; they integrate the participants’ judgments. Four are specific methods that can drill down into a particular aspect of a problem that might be contentious or of particular significance. The latter methods examine participants’ visions, world views, interests and values.

    As far as we are aware, this is the first time that dialogue...

  6. In our search for case studies, we found only one description of a failure. This was in a situation in which researchers used the nominal group technique to try to change land managers’ attitudes and values (Padgett and Imani 1999). Specifically, they aimed to move land managers to a position from which they would be more accepting of US Government policies on environmental justice. The nominal group process, however, had the opposite effect, moving them to an even more conservative position than the one they held before the group experience. As the authors explain, the most likely reason is that...