Developing Innovative Methods for Configurative Capture of the Cultural Value of Arts and Humanities Research
http://data.open.ac.uk/ahproject/project/F09778E4-2F28-4A5A-8106-0ED9B050E0A6
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Has principal investigator Alis Oancea
Impact The project is expected to have primary impacts on individual and organizational understanding and practices, and secondary impacts on public discourses about the cultural value of arts and humanities research. First, an important area of primary impacts will be on the numerous higher-education (HE) and non-HE settings included in research. Prior work on research impact by the applicant, using similar methodologies, has shown the potential of these approaches to catalyze interest in the value of research and influence individual and organizational practices within the settings researched, with ripple effects in their immediate professional, disciplinary and institutional communities. Second, the project will engage with arts and humanities scholars from a wide range of disciplines and settings, to ensure that methods for capturing and articulating value are conceptualized in their own terms, rather than being based on simplifying dichotomies. Participants in the project will be invited, for example, to engage in face-to-face (via 4-5 meetings) and written dialogue with the research team, leading to a publishable, co-owned output. By these means, the project will contribute (as a secondary impact) to the carving out of a discursive space, within which wider and more nuanced articulations of cultural value are made possible. And third, the project will aim to inform the refinement of impact assessment practices by funding bodies, as well as the development of institutional impact strategies (primary impacts), in higher education and beyond, to ensure that they recognize the distinctive value of arts and humanities research and the diversity of ways in which it can be articulated (secondary impacts). Project briefings will be targeted at relevant constituencies and communicated via impact blogs, Twitter and other social media.
Status Closed
Identifier AH/L005131/1
abstract The project aims to contribute a refined conceptual model of what constitutes cultural value of arts and humanities research (and what impact evaluation methods are attempting to capture), empirical evidence of how interpretations of cultural value play out in practice (via 35 case studies, 70-100 interviews, and over 20 maps of value networks), and an innovative, in-depth methodological approach to capturing cultural value. The project will engage with scholars from 10 groups of arts and humanities disciplines and from over 20 settings, to ensure that the methods for capturing and articulating value are conceptualized in their own terms, rather than imposing simplifying dichotomies. In addition, the study will explore the experiences, understandings and practices of a further 15 value actors, including public cultural institutions, third sector organizations, cultural engagement initiatives, and other partners, users and beneficiaries of arts and humanities research. The study will draw on social scientific approaches to make a distinctive contribution to enhancing methodological capability to capture cultural value in its richness and diversity. The development and testing of a robust configurative approach (i.e., an approach that explores and maps a field in its depth and richness) to recognising and capturing research value in the arts and humanities will be a core contribution of the study. The in-depth case studies to be carried out will combine attention to institutional and individual experiences, with careful mapping and weighting of the networks within which value is enacted and recognized. The conceptual model and innovative methods for capturing the value of research that will be refined and tested in the project were originally developed in Oancea (2011), drawing on Oancea and Furlong (2005, 2007a, 2008) and Oancea (2007b). This body of work has critiqued excessively instrumental interpretations of the value of research, but sought to move beyond dualist arguments about, for example, intrinsic vs. instrumental value, value vs. impact, articulating vs. measuring value, or social accountability vs. economic accounting. On this basis, the project proposes a textured notion of cultural value. The conceptual model identifies aspects of cultural value and suggests that the availability of evidence and the straightforwardness of the measures we use are in inverse proportion to the breadth and complexity of value realisation. The methodology of the study is driven by concerns for texture, diversity, nuance and ecology. The configurative approach to capturing cultural value will complement the focus on breadth and precision (i.e. aggregative approaches) that has been common in recent efforts to measure cultural value from socio-economic perspectives. A multiple case-study design will ensure both breadth (through 35 case studies of research units, research initiatives, value-oriented programmes, partner and user or beneficiary organisations) and depth (through 70-100 interviews and network mapping methods "drilling down" into each case). The project will pursue primary impacts on individual and organizational understanding and practices, and secondary impacts on public discourses about the cultural value of arts and humanities research.
Type Project
Label Developing Innovative Methods for Configurative Capture of the Cultural Value of Arts and Humanities Research
homepage http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk:80/projects?ref=AH%2FL005131%2F1
Title Developing Innovative Methods for Configurative Capture of the Cultural Value of Arts and Humanities Research

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