|Title||Multi-party collaboration as social learning for interdependence: developing relational knowing for sustainable natural resource management|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2004|
|Authors||Bouwen R., Taillieu T.|
|Journal||Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology|
|Keywords||framing and reframing, learning for interdependence, multi party collaboration, relational practices, social learning, sustainable learning|
Introduction to special issue, presenting a conceptual framework to theorise and intervene in multi-party natural resources management collaboration projects
Diverse, multi party collaborations in natural resources management are an opportunity to facilitate social learning, and are an alternative to blueprint planning approaches. Social learning is a multi-scale process involving different actors within various functional levels. Improving understanding of interdependencies within co-management processes is considered in this article as a core issue. Interdependencies refer to “the mutually negotiated and accepted way of interacting among ... parties with the recognition of each other’s perspective, interest, contribution and identity.” Shared problem definition, coordinated actions/activities at different levels of involvement, and shared common scripts and action strategies are related concerns. The article emphasises the potential contribution from social and organisational psychology in helping to understand these interdependencies. The importance of facilitation in multiparty collaborative initiatives is highlighted, including mediating the framing and reframing of issues, fostering new meaning where ambiguities exist, and to provide mechanisms for reflection.
Interdependencies are closely related to issues of power relations and, as this article proposes, is a central concern for adaptive learning processes. Rather than viewing this as a precondition for adaptive learning, the adaptive learning process is proposed as the vehicle by which these interdependencies are fostered. Mechanisms for achieving this are based on continuous processes of joint knowledge creation through deliberation, negotiation, and engaging in parallel activities. Joint knowledge creation and sharing amongst actors and actor groups are relational processes that provide a platform for social inclusion, integrating different perceptions through a shared desired outcome.