WHAT IS RESEARCH INTEGRATION?

How does dialogue fit into this emerging discipline?

"Research Integration" is the process of improving the understanding of real-world problems by synthesizing relevant knowledge from diverse disciplines and stakeholders. It is integration in the context of research, integration by researchers, and integration as a research activity in its own right.

It requires appreciation of different epistemologies (that is, the variety of different ways in which we can come to know ‘something’), as well as different underlying values, interests, world views, and so on. A more comprehensive understanding of real-world problems involves teasing out such differences and finding ways to synthesize them. The role of a research integrator is to identify, gather, combine and analyze relevant disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge in a way that clarifies the diverse aspects of a problem, as well as the relationships and interconnectionsamong them. The aim is to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the problem.

How do various types of dialogue fit in?

One key set of methods for gathering and combining such diverse perspectives builds on various techniques of dialogue. Dialogue? ....

...jointly create meaning and shared understanding through conversation. -- L A Franco
 

Once the group starts to become larger, however, structuring the conversation becomes essential for different understandings to be effectively shared and brought together. Many methods for organizing conversation have been developed, but they are not all dialogue (debate is an example) or relevant to research integration.

Two broad classes of dialogue methods for research integration:

Dialogue methods for understanding a problem broadly:
Consensus Conference
Consensus Development Panel
Delphi Technique
Future Search Conference
Most Significant Change Technique
Nominal Group Technique
Open Space Technology
Scenario Planning
Soft Systems Methodology
Dialogue methods for understanding particular aspects of a problem, integrating visions, world views, interests, and values:
Appreciative Inquiry
Strategic Assumption Surfacing and Testings
Principled Negotiation
Ethical Matrix

Goals & Objectives: We intend to develop a sets of processes and modules to support facilitators and consultants as they guide their clients through those dialogue methods listed above in an asynchronous, online environment.