AOk. Implementing structure vs organic "free for all" forms of collaboration

In the transcribed excerpt below, Wambui questions the thinking behind the loose structure of making decisions in the group. Is this an attempt towards a democratic research process, for lack of a better word, she asks. In previous calls, members have also sought to have our group's end goal explicitly articulated. I (AO) mention my worry about imposing too much structure from the beginning (especially laid out by me) because my intent is not to necessarily put something in place in a top down fashion but rather to cultivate a community of interest. In my own mind, to "stir the pot" in a sense and get things going (but not to necessarily say what things should happen). I may have an idea or vision of what I think could be done but I don't think it's for any one member to dictate what needs to be done but rather, for the group collectively to figure it out together.




“A group like this. It’s so organic… and I think that’s good. One of the thoughts that will probably come up is the extent to which… the word democracy comes to mind. At what point is there kind of a structured framework and at what point is it like a free for all? I’m not even sure what I am asking. It’s just occurred to me that because it is so organic, there are so many loose edges. And even for you Angela who set up this group and this PECE collaborative program. Is that the idea? Is this you know, … it’s a very experimental, free flowing kind of organic thing? Is that the idea of it? I find it interesting from a research point of view…

AO: “Yes. I would love for you to interview me. [Laughs] And I think we should actually, it would be lovely for you to ask me questions. In my mind, yes. And I think there’s something beautiful about the organic nature of this kind of coming together. Who decides they want to be part of it… it’s really delicate. And I think that that’s my biggest worry is how do we maintain the balance between having something organic but also having enough structure, the light structure in our collaboration so we feel like we understand what is going on and it’s not just anyone doing anything. So I think that balance is really also something we should reflect on and talk about as part of this dissertation writing project thing. [Laughs]. We do need …some sort of idea of what we are doing, we just want to make sure we don’t overdetermine it too fast and lose maybe some of that nice organic quality. The organic part I think opens up things and allows opportunities for the more experimental stuff. To figure out how do we do this together. Without just saying, this is the way it has always been done, we should just do that. So we are kinda still balancing all those I think.”

Analytic (Question)






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