Creative processes of impact making: advancing an American Pragmatist Methodology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018
DatePublished (current) - 29 Aug 2019
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)241-259
Original languageEnglish


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide new insights into the social impact of creative research methods. Design/methodology/approach: Using the new methodology of cultural animation (CA), the authors highlight how knowledge can be co-produced between academics, community members and organisational practitioners. Drawing on the UK Connected Communities programme, the authors explore examples of immersive and performative techniques including arts and crafts, drama and poetry. Findings: The authors showcase the practical and theoretical benefit of such exercises to generate impact and influence. Empirically, the authors demonstrate the potential of CA to bring together researchers and community members in useful partnerships that foster dialogical exchange. Theoretically, the authors extend and develop the value of American Pragmatism by highlighting how democratic, iterative and practical learning plays out through the materials, networks and processes of cultural animation. Social implications: Exploration of the examples leads us to propose and explore impact as a form of legacy which captures the temporal, processual and performative nature of knowledge sharing and co-production. Originality/value: The methodology of CA is innovative and has not been tested widely to date although, as the authors illustrate, it is particularly useful for encouraging interaction between academics and the wider world by developing and nurturing interactions and relationships. It carries potential to contribute new insights to the theorisation and lived experience of organisation.

    Research areas

  • American Pragmatism, Arts-based research, Cultural animation, Impact, Knowledge co-production, Relevance gap

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