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Department of Social Sciences

Our understanding of research

A key focus of the Social Research Center's work is active participation in social and technological innovation processes. Improving the ability of people and their organizations to shape, reflect and learn is central in our work. This is the case, because we are convinced that the active participation of the people affected in each case is an indispensable component in the sustainable management of change and innovation processes.

At the Social Research Center Dortmund, the examination of new forms of knowledge generation, in which the potential users or "customers" do not appear as final consumers of the innovation. Instead they are woven into complex communication networks as equal co-producers. This understanding of research in our institute led to the development of a new type of projects and established an intensive examination of networks as engines of modernization and innovation, which entailed considerable consequences for the social science's self-understanding and its methodology. The institute has developed a specific research profile that combines scientific quality with active participation in shaping processes of change and innovation.