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System Engagements in Service and Design Research


Status Active - open for registrations
School IDA-gemensam (IDA)
Owner Stefan Holmlid

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Course plan


In design and service research a lot of research is done either on or in a system, often viewed as a socio-material system or a socio-ecological system. Some research participate in transformation processes of such systems, pro-actively or more at a distance. This is what we call "system engagements", and the course focus on how research can be done in such settings.
Participants are expected to run a system engagement with resaearch ambition, as part of the course.

Goals and outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- identify, describe, and discuss various phenomena related to system thinking
- analyze the relationship between engagement, transformation and transition
- plan and perform research through engagement with a system as research context
- orally and in writing critically review and reflexively relate to different kinds of system engagements in research

Recommended for

PhD students in subject areas where empirical work is performed in socio-material or socio-ecological systems, such as design, service research, cognitive science, and others.


The course is open for participation of PhD students from within and outside Linköping University. As the joint course events will be run daytime CEST, this may limit possibilites for participation.

Structure and overall content

The course consists of a set of seminars introducing systems thinking, supporting field engagements of various kinds, formalizing research through engagements, and communicating in and from research.
Each participant needs to have a research topic, or project, that is related to a socio-material or socio-ecological system, that can serve as the reflexive basis, and serve as a possibility to plan and perform engagements with.


The course will be run through LiU, in collaboration with researchers from an international network of researchers.


3 credits, participation in seminars
2 credits, planning system engagement
4 credits, system engagement

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