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Collaborating across the researcher-practitioner divide: Introducing John Dewey’s democratic experimentalism

Linh Chi Vo (Ecole de Management de Normandie, Caen, France)
Mihaela Kelemen (Department of Management, Keele Management School, Keele University, Keele, UK)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 2 October 2017




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners. It does so by comparing the various models of academic-practitioner collaboration and introducing Dewey’s democratic experimentalism as a promising alternative.


The conceptual implications are drawn from an analysis and discussion of the literatures in the field of organizational knowledge production, co-production and Deweyan studies.


Democratic experimentalism offers a much needed platform for a collaborative relationship between academics and practitioners that leads to knowledge that is rigorous and relevant to practice.


While the current models of academic-practitioner collaboration provide mechanisms for knowledge co-production, the Dewey’s democratic experimentalism goes further to emphasize the nature of the relationship between academics and practitioners in such common endeavor to ensure that all of them are equal co-creators of knowledge.



Vo, L.C. and Kelemen, M. (2017), "Collaborating across the researcher-practitioner divide: Introducing John Dewey’s democratic experimentalism", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 858-871.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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