VET as transformative, collaborative research: Cross self-confrontation, dialogical artefacts, and the development of organizational dialogue in a Swiss factory

  • Laure Kloetzer University of Neuchâtel
Keywords: Activity Analysis, Activity Development, Cross Self-Confrontation, Collaborative research, Dialogue


In this article, VET-related collaborative research is discussed as a potential transformative experience for workers/work collectives/work organizations. Three main ideas in the creation of dialogical frameworks for collaborative research are presented: (a) Vygotsky’s research focus on provoking development in order to study it (Vygotsky, 1934/1986); (b) Oddone’s ideas on close collaboration with professionals in ‘associated research groups’ to understand and develop work experience (Oddone et al., 1981); (c) Clot’s psychological concept of activity (Clot, 1999), which includes both ‘realised activity’ and ‘real activity.’ The methodology of cross self-confrontation (Clot et al., 2001; Kloetzer et al., 2015) is based on collective work analysis, thanks to the interplay of two activities – observation and dialogue – within various contexts and for different addressees. Carefully edited video recordings, which we call here ‘dialogical artefacts,’ support this activity of analysis and transformation. This methodology aims at triggering individual thinking, collective elaboration, and rich institutional discussions, with the goal of transforming everyday work organisation. The paper presents a recently completed research project in a Swiss factory, on knowledge transmission and the training of expert workers. The production of films as dialogical artefacts, and their effects in the research and factory, are discussed. In particular, the collaborative research process shows a transformation of the topics and style of dialogue across hierarchical levels.

Author Biography

Laure Kloetzer, University of Neuchâtel

Assistant Professor

Institute of Psychology and Education


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How to Cite
Kloetzer, L. (2018). VET as transformative, collaborative research: Cross self-confrontation, dialogical artefacts, and the development of organizational dialogue in a Swiss factory. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 7(2), 63-83.