conferences as dramaturgical learning spaces

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  • NICOLINE JACOBY HANSEN

    CONFERENCES AS DRAMATURGICAL LEARNING SPACES

    PHD DISSERTATION DANISH SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

    AARHUS UNIVERSITY SEPTEMBER 2010

  • Conferences as Dramaturgical Learning Spaces by Nicoline Jacoby Hansen PhD Dissertation

    Doctoral School of Organizational Learning (DOCSOL) Department of Learning Danish School of Education Aarhus University Tuborgvej 164 DK-2400 Copenhagen NV.

    SUPERVISORS

    Ib Ravn, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University Mette Mnsted, Copenhagen Business School

    PHD COMMITTEE

    Lotte Dars, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University (Chair) Bengt Johannisson, Linnaeus University, Sweden Chris Steyaert, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

    CONTACT

    njh@agoracph.dk

    September 2010

    Nicoline Jacoby Hansen. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without prior written permission. This also means that you cannot post this document or the information it contains on any electronic bulletin board, web site, FTP site, newsgroup, or the like. The only place from which this document should be available is the AGORA CPH web site. If you want an original copy, visit www.agoracph.dk. Thank you!

  • CONTENTS

    1 INTRODUCTION.............................................................................. 11

    1.1 Research Question ......................................................................... 16 1.2 Overview ....................................................................................... 18

    2 THE CONTEXT OF CONFERENCES ............................................. 22

    2.1 The Meetings Industry .................................................................. 23 2.1.1 Barriers to Innovation in the Industry ................................. 26

    2.2 A Review of Conference-Related Literature ................................... 28 2.3 A Definition of Conferences .......................................................... 34 2.4 Challenges for New Conference Formats ....................................... 39

    3 METHODOLOGY .............................................................................. 43

    3.1 Design-Based Research .................................................................. 44 3.1.1 Why Design-Based Research?.............................................. 46

    3.2 The Four Case Conferences ........................................................... 49 3.2.1 Contracts ............................................................................ 54

    3.3 The Researcher as Consultant ........................................................ 54 3.3.1 Intervention Research: A Goal of Improvement .................. 55 3.3.2 Action Research: Co-Creation ............................................. 58 3.3.3 The Double Role of Consultant and Researcher ................. 60

    3.4 Validity .......................................................................................... 69 3.4.1 Rigor and Relevance ........................................................... 71 3.4.2 Robustness as Quality Criteria ............................................ 73

    4 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ....................................................... 76

    4.1 Conferences as Learning Spaces ..................................................... 77 4.2 The Dramaturgical Conference...................................................... 79

    4.2.1 Attention ............................................................................ 82 4.3 Learning Through Rhythm ............................................................ 85 4.4 Design Principles ........................................................................... 92

    4.4.1 Design Principle #1: Reflection ........................................... 93

  • 4.4.2 Design Principle #2: Involvement ....................................... 99 4.4.3 Design Principle #3: Interaction ....................................... 105 4.4.4 Three-Dimensional Learning Models ................................ 110

    4.5 Reflections on the Theoretical Framework ................................... 112 4.5.1 The Implicit View of Human Nature ............................... 115

    5 DESIGNING THE ECCI X CONFERENCE PROGRAM .............. 118

    5.1 Conference Program Description ................................................. 119 5.1.1 Program Structure............................................................. 120 5.1.2 Program Elements ............................................................. 123 5.1.3 Venue ............................................................................... 130 5.1.4 Program Elements and the

    Learning-Through-Rhythm Model ................................... 131 5.2 The ECCI X Planning Process ..................................................... 132

    5.2.1 Background ...................................................................... 133 5.2.2 Critical Incidents .............................................................. 135 5.2.3 Overcoming Resistance ..................................................... 141

    6 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYTICAL APPROACH............. 143

    6.1 Data Collection Methods ............................................................ 143 6.1.1 Interview Posts .................................................................. 145 6.1.2 Photo Interviews with Attendees ....................................... 146 6.1.3 Evaluative Meetings with Conference Organizers .............. 150 6.1.4 Evaluation Form ............................................................... 151 6.1.5 Observation ...................................................................... 153 6.1.6 Video Filming ................................................................... 153 6.1.7 Attendance Curve ............................................................. 154 6.1.8 Secondary Data ................................................................. 154 6.1.9 Conclusion on the Research Methods Used ...................... 155

    6.2 Analytical Approach .................................................................... 156

    7 PARTICIPANT EVALUATION ....................................................... 161

    7.1 Participant Expectations .............................................................. 162 7.1.1 New Knowledge ............................................................... 165 7.1.2 New Contacts ................................................................... 166 7.1.3 A Good Time ................................................................... 167 7.1.4 Keynote Speakers .............................................................. 167 7.1.5 Benchmarking .................................................................. 168

  • 7.2 Overall Evaluation ....................................................................... 169 7.2.1 Program Format ............................................................... 173 7.2.2 Conference Culture .......................................................... 176 7.2.3 Atmosphere ...................................................................... 180

    7.3 Keynote Speeches ........................................................................ 185 7.3.1 Plenary Format ................................................................. 188

    7.4 Track Sessions ............................................................................. 191 7.5 Paper Jams ................................................................................... 194 7.6 Reflection Zones .......................................................................... 199

    7.6.1 A Home Base ................................................................. 201 7.6.2 Cross-Learning.................................................................. 202 7.6.3 Facilitators ........................................................................ 204

    7.7 Meet the Danes ........................................................................... 206 7.8 Other Conference Elements ......................................................... 209

    7.8.1 Opening and Closing ........................................................ 209 7.8.2 Conference Dance ............................................................ 211 7.8.3 Conference Moderator ...................................................... 213 7.8.4 Breaks and Evening Events ............................................... 214

    7.9 Key Points ................................................................................... 218 7.9.1 Data Diversity................................................................... 221

    8 ANALYSIS BASED ON THE

    LEARNING-THROUGH-RHYTHM MODEL ............................... 223

    8.1 Analysis in Terms of Design Principle #1: Reflection ................... 224 8.1.1 Reflection Modes and Resistance Toward Learning .......... 225 8.1.2 Nothing NewBut Damn Inspiring ................................ 230 8.1.3 The God of Small Things ................................................. 234 8.1.4 Key Points ........................................................................ 237

    8.2 Analysis in Terms of Design Principle #2: Involvement ............... 238 8.2.1 Conference Atmosphere .................................................... 239 8.2.2 Fiction versus Nonfiction .................................................. 242 8.2.3 Key Points ........................................................................ 249

    8.3 Analysis in Terms of Design Principle #3: Interaction ................. 250 8.3.1 Fostering Pro-Social Behavior ...........................................

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