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Collaborative co‐design: A user‐centric approach for advancement of organizational learning

Mary M. Somerville (San José State University, San José, California, USA)
Mary Nino (San José State University, San José, California, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 6 November 2007




This paper aims to describe the use of collaborative co‐design activities to advance strategic planning assessment efforts by staff members of the merged (city‐university) Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Library in California's Silicon Valley.


The activities use action research approaches rather than traditional approaches which rely on gathering library‐centric data to assess organizational effectiveness. The paper also reports on staff members' application of Learning 2.0 competencies to co‐create physical places and virtual spaces which enable learning for and with users.


This conversation based approach encourages co‐defining “success” with user constituencies through sustained dialogue that, over time, builds relationships.

Practical implications

In the process, library staff invite, interpret, and apply user generated evidence and insights to co‐create sustainable relationships and concurrently advance systems thinking and workplace information literacy. This “research in practice” initiative extends action research on “thought leadership”.


In development since 2003, this inclusive co‐design approach reflects theoretical and applied insights from researchers in Europe, Australia, and North America, who have worked with US library practitioners to develop user‐centric processes for improving organizational effectiveness and enhancing user efficacy.



Somerville, M.M. and Nino, M. (2007), "Collaborative co‐design: A user‐centric approach for advancement of organizational learning", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 180-188.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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