The “research world café” as method of scientific enquiry: Combining rigor with relevance and speed

Holger Schiele*, Stefan Krummaker, Petra Hoffmann, Rita Kowalski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


Next to rigor and relevance, this paper addresses speed as a third challenge of joint academic practitioner inquiries. Practitioners seek fast and actionable knowledge. However, traditional academic research takes a long time to execute. We propose a data collection method - the world café - with the potential to reduce this clock-speed challenge and to close the knowledge production and transfer gap. However, the traditional world café needs some amendments in order to be fully applicable as academic data collection method. This paper has the following five objectives: 1) include “speed” in the discussion of rigor and relevance in management research, 2) suggest the world café method as a technique to accelerate data collection in academic practitioner collaborative research, 3) introduce the “research world café” as an academically rigorous data collection method, 4) illustrate the use of the world café method with a small example 5) compare it to alternative methods such as expert interviews, focus group or Delphi. Results of a survey on the speed of group research methods is presented, evidencing that world café research is able to present practitioner results twice as fast as conventional research methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of business research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Clock-speed
  • Collaborative research
  • Expert interview
  • Focus group
  • Research method
  • Rigor-relevance debate
  • Scholar-practitioner collaboration
  • World café
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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