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Rows of Classical Columns

Organisational Supports

The Practice Research Collaborative on Organisational Supports is designed for those who are interested in sharing their experience and approaches to acquiring organisation support in both practice and university settings. The focus includes research funding, senior management support, access to research respondents and participants, and finally, finding ways to engage practitioners and service users in research project design.

The Collaborative is currently chaired by Michael J. Austin, Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Welfare at The University of California, Berkeley who draws upon twenty-five years of experience engaging in practice research, primarily in the areas of client-centred agency management, community organising, policy implementation, and strategic planning.

Organisational Supports for Practice Research

Aalborg Workshop 


Sidsel Natland (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)

This workshop was held in Aalborg, Denmark. It provided a space for practice researchers to (a) reflect upon evolving definitions of organizational supports for practice research and (b) engage in critical dialogue about opportunities and challenges when engaging in practice research studies with key frontline, management and organizational partners. It focused upon the following key questions:

  • How are “organizational supports” for practice research understood?

  • Which organizational supports are most important for supporting collaborative projects involving diverse stakeholders?

  • What are some examples of practice research projects that feature the importance of organizational supports?  

The first component of the seminar explored a set of working definitions of organizational supports for practice research. The second component provided space for a comparative international perspective (Asia and the Nordic countries). The third component invited participants to engage in a “workshop” by sharing their experiences with organizational supports for conducting practice research.


The Program for the Workshop is provided below: 

Component # 1: 9-10 am

  • Welcome and Introductions (Bowen McBeath, USA)

  • Session Theme: How do we build a definition of “organizational support” for practice research that features the key stakeholders of practitioners, service users, and researchers?

    • Discussion for clarifying and suggesting basic aspects of “organizational support” using illustrative definitions (handout), especially with service users

Component #2: 10-11am (Bowen McBeath, USA & Heidi Muurinen, Finland)

  •  Session Theme: How can we build an archive of cases based upon organizational storytelling that features the launching of practice research projects with organizational supports?

    • Using a modified fishbowl technique where two practice researchers share their experiences in launching practice research collaborations

      • Researcher-initiated practice research (China)

      • Practitioner-initiated practice research (Finland)

    • Engage in follow-up questions on organizational supports and key stakeholder involvement that compares/contrasts their respective experiences 

Component #3: 11am-12pm (Sidsel Natland, Norway)

  • Session Theme: How do we support each other in developing research that advances the basic theme of organizational supports for practice research based on ideas generated in previous sessions, especially the involvement of service users?

    • Using a peer consultation approach, conference attendees will be divided into small discussion groups to share their current experiences with practice research

    • The facilitator of each group will then briefly share highlights of the group discussions in the closing session of this pre-conference Practice Research Collaborative

    • Future publication strategies will also be shared 


Meeting Times and Resources 



The Practice Research Collaborative on Organisational Supports meets on a quarterly basis via ZOOM.


Our next meeting will be on 18 October, 2003 (AustEST) from 5.00pm-6.30pm. The ZOOM link to join is below:



Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting
If prompted for a password, please enter: 622068

Need to dial-in instead? Enter the meeting ID: 856 8987 7655 via +61 3 7018 2005 or +61 2 8015 6011

Or join from a H.323/SIP room system: Dial: | or SIP: | or with meeting ID: 85689877655 and password: 622068


Here is a link to the current article (in press) about the Organizational Collaborative.


Get in touch with this collaborative to discuss current research projects, collaborations and upcoming meeting dates. 

For more information please email Michael J AUSTIN 

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