Examining value creation in a community of learning practice: Methodological reflections on story-telling and story-reading
Despite the abundant research on communities in various shapes and settings, examination of what community members gained from their participation remains a thorny issue. For this purpose, we adopted and refined the value creation framework developed by Wenger, Trayner and De Laat (2011) to divulge experienced values by community members through “scaffolded narratives” and categorization of the values reported through their stories. However, in doing so two methodological issues emerged – in particular in relation to “values”. This paper reports on our methodological reflection on the challenging process of capturing community members’ value creation within a community of learning practice. More specifically, we reflect on the following questions: (1) To what extent can the values that the participants originally intended to report be identified as such by the researchers/analysts’ without bias due to the researchers/analysts’ own perspectives? and (2) To what extent does a theoretically-driven pre-defined typology of values confine or enrich the range of possible values that can be identified? What adds to this challenging research endeavour is the concept of value in theoretical terms and its associated typologies. Hence, these methodological questions need to be discussed in order to comprehend both the phenomenon of value (creation) per se as well as how it is examined – as close to the participants’ reality as possible – since value creation is the driving force for the sustainability of a community.
Copyright (c) 2017 Filitsa Dingyloudi, Jan-Willem Strijbos
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