Co-generation of societally impactful knowledge in Change Laboratories

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Sannino , A & Engeström , Y H M 2017 , ' Co-generation of societally impactful knowledge in Change Laboratories ' , Management Learning , vol. 48 , no. 1 , pp. 80-96 .

Title: Co-generation of societally impactful knowledge in Change Laboratories
Author: Sannino, Annalisa; Engeström, Yrjö H M
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Education

Date: 2017-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Management Learning
ISSN: 1350-5076
Abstract: Formative interventions and the specific method of the Change Laboratory (CL) are presented as examples of intervention research that generates actionable and societally impactful knowledge. In contrast with stabilization knowledge that fixates phenomena into static categories, actionable knowledge is understood here as collaborative and generative possibility knowledge intertwined with transformative action. The article asks what can be learned from the different ways the epistemological principles behind formative interventions are implemented in different CLs. Three CL interventions are analyzed. The analysis is summarized with the help of a grid covering the key characteristics of formative interventions: contradictions, conflicts of motives, double stimulation, zone of proximal development, germ cells and emerging concepts. Comparison of the three cases shows that understanding the specific historical stage of the development of contradictions in a given organization is of foundational importance. In transformations induced by CLs, contradiction and conflict may be seen as acute push and the future-oriented concept as gradually emerging pull, with the change actions of the local practitioners in the middle. Constructing a germ cell and eventually an expanded concrete concept based on it are the most demanding challenges for CL interventions.
Subject: Contradiction
change laboratory
double stimulation
intervention research
activity system
actionable knowledge
transformative agency
512 Business and Management

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