An action research approach to the inclusion of immigrants in work life and local community life: Preparation of a participatory realm

ATAÖV DEMİRKAN A., Brøgger B., Hildrum J. M.

Action Research, vol.8, no.3, pp.237-265, 2010 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1476750309335209
  • Journal Name: Action Research
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.237-265
  • Keywords: action research, interculturalism, participation, work life
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Recent increases in the immigrant population in Norway have raised the issue of immigrant inclusion in the Norwegian society. The political emphasis has been on welfare, education and health for many decades. However, today the increasing shortage of labor in the market has raised the issue of inclusion of the immigrant population in work life. This article documents a 3-year-long action research process that laid the groundwork for collaboration among public, private, and nongovernmental organizations in order to find solutions to this newly emergent need in work life. The purpose was to complement existing top-down policy initiatives in this area with a novel bottom-up strategy, aiming to facilitate action-oriented dialogues about the inclusion of immigrants in working life. Initially an international project targeting the cities of Oslo and Drammen was narrowed to a group of large firms in The Grorud Valley in Oslo, where a substantial proportion of the country's immigrants live and work. The project demonstrates several valuable aspects of this action-research strategy - such as creating a broad-based dialogue platform on which novel policies and practices might be generated - but also a number of challenges, such as mobilizing private firms to participate in dialogues and keeping initiated dialogues active. © 2010 SAGE Publications.