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

Monika Suškevičs*, Thomas Hahn, Romina Rodela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-750
JournalSociety & Natural Resources
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Keywords

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

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