Unravelling the Social dynamics of an industry-school partnership: social capital as perspective for co-creation

Corry Ehlen*, Marcel Van der Klink, Els Boshuizen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Increasingly, innovative collaboration between industry and schools is being exploited as a way of improving the quality and relevance of education. Even though these innovations appear to have substantial benefits, often the impact proves to fade away after their implementation. A better understanding of how to sustain complex innovations seems important. Unfortunately, only a limited amount of research investigates the ‘inside’ of complex innovations. This article reports on a three-year, large-scale industry–school programme in the Dutch Leisure sector. The research, from start to finish, adopted a qualitative case study methodology with a mixed-methods approach, drawing upon social capital theory as lens to understand the dynamics of processes and effect on outcomes. Findings indicate that the social capital theory helps to unravel crucial factors of processes and outcomes. The researched innovation process depended not so much on formal project plans and objectives but largely built on the quality of social relationships at all levels. Sustaining this social capital proved crucial, while managing according to a planned change strategy appeared to be counterproductive. The outcomes show to be twofold, in terms of new knowledge and products for the organisations and of sustainable benefits for the professionals, in terms of new abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-85
JournalStudies in Continuing Education
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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social capital
innovation
industry
school
leisure sector
methodology
ability
knowledge
education

Keywords

  • industry–school innovation network
  • social dynamic
  • social capital
  • professional learning
  • mixed-method research

Cite this

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title = "Unravelling the Social dynamics of an industry-school partnership: social capital as perspective for co-creation",
abstract = "Increasingly, innovative collaboration between industry and schools is being exploited as a way of improving the quality and relevance of education. Even though these innovations appear to have substantial benefits, often the impact proves to fade away after their implementation. A better understanding of how to sustain complex innovations seems important. Unfortunately, only a limited amount of research investigates the ‘inside’ of complex innovations. This article reports on a three-year, large-scale industry–school programme in the Dutch Leisure sector. The research, from start to finish, adopted a qualitative case study methodology with a mixed-methods approach, drawing upon social capital theory as lens to understand the dynamics of processes and effect on outcomes. Findings indicate that the social capital theory helps to unravel crucial factors of processes and outcomes. The researched innovation process depended not so much on formal project plans and objectives but largely built on the quality of social relationships at all levels. Sustaining this social capital proved crucial, while managing according to a planned change strategy appeared to be counterproductive. The outcomes show to be twofold, in terms of new knowledge and products for the organisations and of sustainable benefits for the professionals, in terms of new abilities.",
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Unravelling the Social dynamics of an industry-school partnership: social capital as perspective for co-creation. / Ehlen, Corry; Van der Klink, Marcel; Boshuizen, Els.

In: Studies in Continuing Education, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2016, p. 61-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Increasingly, innovative collaboration between industry and schools is being exploited as a way of improving the quality and relevance of education. Even though these innovations appear to have substantial benefits, often the impact proves to fade away after their implementation. A better understanding of how to sustain complex innovations seems important. Unfortunately, only a limited amount of research investigates the ‘inside’ of complex innovations. This article reports on a three-year, large-scale industry–school programme in the Dutch Leisure sector. The research, from start to finish, adopted a qualitative case study methodology with a mixed-methods approach, drawing upon social capital theory as lens to understand the dynamics of processes and effect on outcomes. Findings indicate that the social capital theory helps to unravel crucial factors of processes and outcomes. The researched innovation process depended not so much on formal project plans and objectives but largely built on the quality of social relationships at all levels. Sustaining this social capital proved crucial, while managing according to a planned change strategy appeared to be counterproductive. The outcomes show to be twofold, in terms of new knowledge and products for the organisations and of sustainable benefits for the professionals, in terms of new abilities.

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