Moving toward Generalizability? A Scoping Review on Measuring the Impact of Living Labs
Environmental effects of industries and plants
Renewable energy sources
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AbstractThe living labs (LLs) approach has been applied around the globe to generate innovation within and suited to real-life problems and contexts. Despite the promise of the LL approach for addressing complex challenges like socio-ecological change, there is a gap in practitioner and academic community knowledge surrounding how to measure and evaluate both the performance of a given LL process and its wider impacts. Notably, this gap appears particularly acute in LLs designed to address environmental or agricultural sustainability. This article seeks to verify and address this knowledge gap by conducting an adopted scoping review method which uses a combination of tools for text mining alongside human text analysis. In total, 138 academics literature were screened, out of which 88 articles were read in full and 41 articles were found relevant for this study. The findings reveal limited studies putting forward generalizable approaches or frameworks for evaluating the impact of LLs and even fewer in the agricultural or sustainability sector. The dominant method for evaluation used in the literature is comparative qualitative using case studies. This study uncovers a potential tension regarding LL work: the specificity of LL studies works against the development of evaluation indicators and a universal framework to guide the impact assessment of LLs across jurisdictions and studies in order to move toward generalizability.