Process and Contextual Factors Supporting Action-Oriented Learning: A Thematic Synthesis of Empirical Literature in Natural Resource Management

Monika Suškevičs, Thomas Hahn, Romina Rodela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite a long-term focus on learning in natural resource management (NRM), it is still debated how learning supports sustainable real-world NRM practices. We offer a qualitative in-depth synthesis of selected scientific empirical literature (N = 53), which explores factors affecting action-oriented learning. We inductively identify eight key process-based and contextual factors discussed in this literature. Three patterns emerge from our results. First, the literature discusses both facilitated participation and self-organized collaboration as dialogical spaces, which bridge interests and support constructive conflict management. Second, the literature suggests practice-based dialogs as those best able to facilitate action and puts a strong emphasis on experimentation. Finally, not emphasized in existing reviews and syntheses, we found multiple evidence about certain contextual factors affecting learning, including social-ecological crises, complexity, and power structures. Our review also points at important knowledge gaps, which can be used to advance the current research agenda about learning and NRM.

LanguageEnglish
Pages731-750
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

natural resources
resource management
natural resource
learning
management
conflict management
environment crisis
social crisis
knowledge gap
management practice
dialogue
literature
participation
evidence

Keywords

  • Ecosystem governance
  • intermediaries
  • qualitative review
  • social learning
  • social-ecological systems
  • structural constraints

Cite this

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Process and Contextual Factors Supporting Action-Oriented Learning : A Thematic Synthesis of Empirical Literature in Natural Resource Management. / Suškevičs, Monika; Hahn, Thomas; Rodela, Romina.

In: Society and Natural Resources, Vol. 32, No. 7, 11.03.2019, p. 731-750.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Despite a long-term focus on learning in natural resource management (NRM), it is still debated how learning supports sustainable real-world NRM practices. We offer a qualitative in-depth synthesis of selected scientific empirical literature (N = 53), which explores factors affecting action-oriented learning. We inductively identify eight key process-based and contextual factors discussed in this literature. Three patterns emerge from our results. First, the literature discusses both facilitated participation and self-organized collaboration as dialogical spaces, which bridge interests and support constructive conflict management. Second, the literature suggests practice-based dialogs as those best able to facilitate action and puts a strong emphasis on experimentation. Finally, not emphasized in existing reviews and syntheses, we found multiple evidence about certain contextual factors affecting learning, including social-ecological crises, complexity, and power structures. Our review also points at important knowledge gaps, which can be used to advance the current research agenda about learning and NRM.

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