Abstract for: The Validity and Utility of Participatory Research Strategies

Participatory research strategies, like Group Model Building, are of increasing importance in social science research. These strategies are especially used to support practice oriented research, where decision-making needs to be supported or solutions for practical problems need to be found. We argue that participatory research strategies can be differentiated into practice based and expert based research. They offer suitable alternatives for mainstream data based types of research to tackle practical problems. In this paper we formulate methodological criteria that are necessary to evaluate the practical utility of research strategies and the extent in which they produce valid results for practice oriented research.