Acceptable Stories or Acceptable Boundaries? On Managerial Optimism, Critical Reflection, and One Particularly Intractable Development Organisation

Negotiating Boundaries and Borders

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1283-2, eISBN: 978-1-84950-395-2

ISSN: 1042-3192

Publication date: 15 March 2007

Abstract

Development organisations today are faced with a new set of challenges around the use of research. They are charged with generating credible knowledge, moving it around, using it in policy, and acting on it in partnership with others. Several Northern and Southern development NGOs are attempting to shift from being “service providers” to “knowledge brokers”, for example, in the quest to find new roles and relevance for themselves (Lewis & Wallace, 2000). There has thus been a lot of focus recently on the relationship between research, policy, and practice. Many questions within this field centre on how development organisations can use research in practice, in their work. In this chapter, however, I wish to turn the question around and ask: how does the research fare when it is done on development organisations themselves? And what is the relationship between research and practice in that situation?

Citation

Hovland, I. (2007), "Acceptable Stories or Acceptable Boundaries? On Managerial Optimism, Critical Reflection, and One Particularly Intractable Development Organisation", Smith, M. (Ed.) Negotiating Boundaries and Borders (Studies in Qualitative Methodology, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 197-215. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1042-3192(06)08010-4

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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