Volume 2 Issue 2 (2006)
Main Articles

Exploring Forms of Triangulation to Facilitate Collaborative Research Practice: Reflections From a Multidisciplinary Research Group

Tarja Tiainen
Department of Computer Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, FINLAND
Emma-Reetta Koivunen
Department of Information and Communications, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
Published October 4, 2006
  • ICT,
  • ethnography,
  • collaborative ethnography,
  • triangulation,
  • collaborative research,
  • social space,
  • community of knowledge
  • ...More


This article contains critical reflections of a multidisciplinary research group studying the human and technological dynamics around some newly offered electronic services in a specific rural area of Finland. For their research, the group adopted ethnography. On facing the challenges of doing ethnographic research in a multidisciplinary setting, the group evolved its own breed of research practice based on multiple forms of triangulation. This implied the use of multiple data sources, methods, theories, and researchers, in different combinations. One of the outcomes of the work is a model for collaborative research. It highlights, among others, the importance of creating a climate for collaboration within the research group and following a process of individual and collaborative writing to achieve the potential benefits of such research. The article also identifies a set of remaining challenges relevant to collaborative research.