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Article

Jennifer Rowley

This article seeks to draw out some of the principles and concepts of action research in order to better inform student work based learning. After an introduction that…

Abstract

This article seeks to draw out some of the principles and concepts of action research in order to better inform student work based learning. After an introduction that explains the application of action research to work based learning, the article explores the essence of action research. The action research cycle and the notion of meta learning are introduced. A section on taking action research forward addresses pragmatic issues such as: journal keeping, managing role duality, and managing politics and ethics. Finally suggestions are offered for writing an action research dissertation or work based project report.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article

Everon C. Chenhall and Thomas J. Chermack

The purpose of this paper is to propose an integrated model of action learning based on an examination of four reviewed action learning models, definitions, and espoused outcomes.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an integrated model of action learning based on an examination of four reviewed action learning models, definitions, and espoused outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A clear articulation of the strengths and limitations of each model was essential to developing an integrated model, which could be applied to Lynham's general method of theory‐building research in applied disciplines. The paper examined common themes according to the model structure, methods, and methodologies. The four models selected for this review were Gregory's Group Action Learning Process Model, Paton's Systemic Action Learning Cycle, Paton's Systemic Action Learning Spiral, and Watkins and Marsick's Continuous Learning Model.

Findings

A comparison of the key variations in the definitions of action learning and desired outcomes explained differences in model designs. HRD practitioners need a better understanding of the variables that affect the outcomes of action learning through exploring learning transfer issues and through testing multiple methodologies. Similarly, the integrated model was designed to indicate how change takes place within an organization, dictated by either internal or external factors. A description of the construction of the integrated model is provided.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the disconnect between the conceptual development and application phases of theory‐building research, more empirical evidence is needed to support the connection between action learning models and methodologies and desired outcomes. The integrated model was designed from a systems perspective with particular emphasis on soft systems in the problem and analysis phases to illustrate the role of organizational modeling of the relationships among members, processes, and the internal and external environment. HRD practitioners could re‐examine their decision making, particularly in approaching large‐scale change. HRD practitioners could document their specific approaches to action learning, including a combination of action research methods and soft systems methodologies. A comparison of outcomes versus the methodologies could be made.

Originality/value

The objective of the integrated action learning model is to improve decision making related to facilitating change from an HRD perspective, given the theories and principles underlying each model. The integrated model could serve as the basis for gaining new knowledge about critical systems theory and action research as it relates to action learning and change facilitation. It is the paper's intent that the proposed integrated model will spur further theory‐building research in employing action learning as an organizational change intervention.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article

Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt and Mary Farquhar

This paper is an edited version of an interview that presents information and insight into the background of ALARPM (action learning, action research and process…

Abstract

This paper is an edited version of an interview that presents information and insight into the background of ALARPM (action learning, action research and process management) not only as a field but also as a worldwide network association, thus facilitating understanding of the evolution and nature of these three concepts. The interviewee’s responses reflect her personal perspective, informed by both life experience and a theoretical framework that conceives of ALARPM first as a philosophy, a theory of learning and a methodology, and second as a method and technique.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article

Michael Gregory

Defines “action researchandaction learning” as forms of emancipatory anddemocratic learning, and describes their use as a model of professionaldevelopment which…

Abstract

Defines “action researchandaction learning” as forms of emancipatory and democratic learning, and describes their use as a model of professional development which empowers the individual as both learner and critically reflective social researcher. Some of the issues in developing an accreditation programme for action research at master′s level are discussed and a number of areas are identified for further research based around an action research Master of Arts degree in human resource strategy. Suggests that the notion of continuing professional development and professional fellowship can be delivered and accredited within the higher education system, using practitioner‐centred and problem‐solving approaches and the idea is promoted that the methodological use of action research in professional development is a means by which the divide between academia and industry‐based practitioner experience can be bridged.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article

Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt and Chad Perry

This paper argues that action research is more appropriate than traditional research for improving practice, and professional and organisational learning. Our particular…

Abstract

This paper argues that action research is more appropriate than traditional research for improving practice, and professional and organisational learning. Our particular aim is to help postgraduates in the social and human sciences to understand and clarify the difference between core action research and thesis action research; that is, between collaborative, participatory action research in the field (aimed at practical improvement in a learning organisation) and independent action research in preparing the thesis (aimed at making an original contribution to knowledge). We present a model to illustrate the distinction and relationship between thesis research, core research and thesis writing.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Abstract

Details

Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

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Article

Daryl John Powell and Paul Coughlan

This paper investigates developing a learning-to-learn capability as a critical success factor for sustainable lean transformation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates developing a learning-to-learn capability as a critical success factor for sustainable lean transformation.

Design/methodology/approach

This research design is guided by our research question: how can suppliers learn to learn as part of a buyer-led collaborative lean transformation? The authors adopt action learning research to generate actionable knowledge from a lean supplier development initiative over a three-year period.

Findings

Drawing on emergent insights from the initiative, the authors find that developing a learning-to-learn capability is a core and critical success factor for lean transformation. The authors also find that network action learning has a significant enabling role in buyer-led collaborative lean transformations.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to lean theory and practice by making the distinction between learning about and implementing lean best practices and adopting a learning-to-learn perspective to build organisational capabilities, consistent with lean thinking and practice. Further, the authors contribute to methodology, adopting action learning research to explore learning-to-learn as a critical success factor for sustainable lean transformation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

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Article

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt and Selva Abraham

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a conceptual framework for work-applied learning (WAL) that fosters the development of managers and other professionals as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a conceptual framework for work-applied learning (WAL) that fosters the development of managers and other professionals as lifelong learners and practitioner researchers – through reflective practice, action research, action learning and action leadership, for positive organisational change.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework is designed from a holistic, affective-socio-cognitive approach to learning, teaching, research and development. It is based on a phenomenological research paradigm and informed by aspects of various theories, including experiential learning theory, strengths-based theory, grounded theory and critical theory/realism.

Findings

Based on classical and recent literature and the authors’ extensive experience, the WAL model presented here is an effective and practical approach to management education, research and development. It is useful for present and future requirements of business, industry, government and society at large in this twenty-first century, and in pursuit of a world of equality, social justice, sustainable development and quality of life for all. This is because of the nature of the research paradigm, particularly its collaborative and emancipatory processes.

Originality/value

This paper provides a theoretical, pedagogical and methodological rationalisation for WAL. This model is particularly useful for developing individual, team and organisational learning and for cultivating managers – or professional learners generally – as practitioner researchers. These researchers may act as role models of collaborative action leadership in their organisations with a cascading effect. This paper therefore advances an incipient literature on practitioner researchers as action leaders.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt and Eva Cendon

The aim of this paper is to present an interview and postscript that examine the specific meaning, rationale, conceptual framework, assessment and teaching of critical…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present an interview and postscript that examine the specific meaning, rationale, conceptual framework, assessment and teaching of critical reflection in and on professional development in management and higher education from an action research perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is presented in the new genre of PIP (Zuber-Skerritt, 2009): Preamble – Interview – Postscript. The Preamble (P) sets out the background, purpose, structure and conduct of the interview (I), which addresses six probing questions and is followed by a Postscript (P) that reveals additional comments and reflections on the interview, and identifies learning outcomes and implications.

Findings

Reflective practice is essential for a deep approach to learning, research and professional development and it is a driving force to enable learners to be adequately equipped for constant and complex change in today's and tomorrow's turbulent world.

Research limitations/implications

The article is positioned to inspire further R&D in the current debate on urgently needed radical and rapid change in higher education for the twenty-first century.

Practical implications

As well as the article's practical suggestions about why and how to develop reflective learning/practice, the PIP conceptual model applied in this article offers a useful practical approach for researchers to explore self-ethnography through interviews.

Originality/value

Two conceptual models illustrate the essence of this article, providing practical help to academics and other professionals to advance reflective practice in research and learning.

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