Cycles of action and reflection as the basis of transformative innovation

Mónica Ramos-Mejía* (Corresponding Author), Juan Manuel Jauregui-Becker, Marlies Koers-Stuiver, Laura Franco-Garcia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper aims at explaining the design process of a learning model targeting potential entrepreneurs with no technical or business expertise aiming to develop sustainable business models in deprived areas. The case that the paper explores focuses on experiential learning and learning in adulthood to design a learning model that considers context and socio-demographic characteristics, makes clear the interconnections between sustainability principles, entrepreneurship rationale and design methodologies and includes actions and processes of reflection and contextual interaction.

Design/methodology/approach: Following a recursive argument, the paper applies design research methodology (DRM) to systematically design the “transformative innovation model” that Product Co Creation Centers (PC3) from the University of Twente (The Netherlands) has developed. Findings: Building on Kolb’s cycle of experiential learning, the result of applying DRM is a learning cycle of confrontation, observation, practice and application. The proposed learning model is applied to a specific setting in Colombia, allowing to verify and validate whether the learning model leads to the expected outcomes. It is argued that an interdisciplinary approach, a focus on feedback loops and the consideration of the context are important elements for addressing and transforming complex problems related to sustainable development from the bottom-up.

Originality/value: This paper contributes to academic research in management emphasizing a solution-finding approach based on a prescription-driven research process, informed by design science research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-154
Number of pages14
JournalManagement research review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship and small business management
  • Feedback loops
  • Solution-oriented research
  • Sustainability
  • Transformative learning
  • Design research methods
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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