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The Varieties of Action Research Action and Case Research in Management and Organizational Contexts.

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Presentation on theme: "The Varieties of Action Research Action and Case Research in Management and Organizational Contexts."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Varieties of Action Research Action and Case Research in Management and Organizational Contexts

2  To reinforce the learning we have already done about Action Research (AR);  Elaboration of some of the different forms of AR;  A chance to reflect on those you might use.

3 Basis of co-operative inquiry: “Action research is only possible with, for and by persons and communities, ideally involving all stakeholders both in the questioning and sense making that informs the research and in the action which is its focus.” Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.2). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

4 Proposes a new expanded epistemology: - Experiential knowing (face to face encounters etc.); - Presentational knowing,(story, picture, sculpture); - Propositional knowing,(concepts/ideas); - Practical knowing (knowing in action in the world). Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

5 Proposes a new ontology:  The participatory evolutionary reality: represents an ontology based on cosmic interconnectedness and co-evolution;  Practical being and acting: represents the combination of knowing and being in the world. Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

6 A stress on democratic principles and human flourishing. Implications for a sustainable relationship with the natural world. Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001:p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

7  Participative action research (PAR) has been developed by intervening in situations of oppression.  It is the most political and radical version of action research. Participative action research (PAR) Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

8 His views are characterised by:  “value-neutrality and aloofness in investigation”;  Recognised that science is socially constructed;  Becoming highly anti-positivist, which he saw as producing masses of redundant information for social integration. Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

9  Developed a praxis-inspired commitment to the under- privileged/oppressed;  He sought to “theorize and obtain knowledge enriched through direct involvement, intervention and insertion in processes of social action;  This led to full participation of those being “researched”. Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

10 A new research paradigm: “In sum the alternative paradigm appears to confirm previous PR work, especially in the South of the world, by combining praxis and ethics, academic knowledge and practical wisdom, the rational and the existential, the regular and the fractal.” Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001: p.10). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

11  Also known as “theory of action”;  Originating from the work of Chris Argyris and Donald Schön;  Focuses on defensive routines;  Theories in use;  Single and double loop learning. Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1978). Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

12  Definition of learning as the systematic detection and correction of error;  Error is defined as the inability to achieve desired ends. Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1978). Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

13  Defensive routines  Based on “double binds”  These prevent learning  Therefore they prevent change Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1978).Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

14  Theories in use and espoused theories;  Undiscussability;  Power based relations between managers and workers Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1978). Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

15  Single loop learning  Double loop learning  Organisational learning  Successful change Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1978). Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

16  Based on the idea of appreciating the “wonder” of organisations;  “Appreciating what is”. Cooperider, D.L. and Srivastva, S., (1987: pp ). Appreciative inquiry in organisational life. In W.A. Passmore and R.W. Woodman (eds.), Research in organizational change and Development, Vol. 1 Greenwich CT: JAI Press pp

17 Cooperrider and Srivastva originally formulated the concept of appreciative inquiry in response to the tendency for action research to fail to address ‘second order’, social organizational transformation, (where organizational paradigms, norms, ideologies or values are changed in fundamental ways). Cooperider, D.L. and Srivastva, S., (1987; pp ). Appreciative inquiry in organisational life. In W.A. Passmore and R.W. Woodman (eds.), Research in organizational change and Development, Vol. 1 Greenwich CT: JAI Press.

18  DISCOVERY - Appreciating ‘the best of what is’;  DREAM - Envisioning ‘what could be’;  DESIGN - Constructing ‘what could be’;  DESTINY - Sustaining ‘what will be’. All based on an initial POSITIVE TOPIC CHOICE Ludema, J.D., Cooperrider, D.L., and Barrett,F.J.(2001: pp ). Appreciative Inquiry: the power of the unconditional positive question. In P. Reason and H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage.

19 Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1978). Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley. Argyris, C. and Schön, D.A. (1996). Organisational learning II: theory, method and practice. Reading MA: Addison Wesley. Burnes, B. (2004). Kurt Lewin and the planned approach to change: a reappraisal. Journal of Management Studies, 41 (6), Lewin, K., (1946). Action research and minority problems. Journal of Social Issues, 2, Ludema, J.D., Cooperrider, D.L., and Barrett, F.J.(2001: pp ). Appreciative Inquiry: the power of the unconditional positive question. In P. Reason and H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage. Reason, P. and Bradbury, H., (Eds.), (2001). Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, London: Sage. Smith, M.K., (2004). Kurt Lewin: groups, experiential learning and action research. Accessed January 2005 at


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