Creativity and institutional innovation in intercultural research
Rachel Wolfgramm

Abstract


As researchers build interdisciplinary and international teams to ensure global reach and relevance, challenges encountered in intercultural research are increasing. Sophisticated forms of methodological plurality are engaged and comprehensive multi- method approaches utilized to address complexities involved in such research programmes. The focus of this article is to offer insights into qualitative intercultural research based on current and past individual and team experiences. In doing so, I hope to shed light onto questions raised such as, in what ways are qualitative methodologies in intercultural research any different to other research processes? Are there any points of differentiation worth considering? What might make a highly contextualised intercultural study by an individual different from a large globally based research team operating across and within many societies?

The primary purpose of this article is to elucidate the dynamics of intercultural research from a Māori perspective. Challenges and opportunities in different institutional contexts are raised along with design and procedural issues. A metaphorical framework “haka in the ballroom, waltzing on the marae” is offered to enable the structuring of reflection. Haka represents the challenges involved in amplifying a Māori ontology in the Western academy which is symbolised by the ballroom. Waltzing signifies engagement with complementary approaches to research. The marae represents Māori institutions that hold Māori researchers accountable to broad communities of practice and engagement. Whilst the metaphorical framework highlights both difference and complementarity, this article argues that the space in which intercultural research occurs is dynamic, requires flexibility, intellectual creativity and institutional innovation.

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