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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Richard L. Baskerville

Action researchers contend that a complex social process can be studied best by introducing changes into that process and observing the effects of these changes. The…

Abstract

Action researchers contend that a complex social process can be studied best by introducing changes into that process and observing the effects of these changes. The approach used by organizational consultants must also introduce change, but in this case, the theoretical development and the rigorous empirical foundation are prerequisite elements of the activity. Participative case studies are a common scientific report proceeding from consulting projects. This paper discusses the contrasts between the action research method, consulting, and participative case studies. Ethical problems arise when action research is knowingly or unknowingly conflated with consultation practices, since this combination makes the usual set of action research dilemmas even more problematic. An improved understanding of the action research‐consulting contrasts aids in distinguishing the contributions of participative case studies to the information systems literature.

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Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Linda J. Twiname, Maria Humphries and Kate Kearins

As part of an ongoing project on worker well‐being, this paper aims to examine the application of flexible work arrangements through the experiences of core workers in a…

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4119

Abstract

Purpose

As part of an ongoing project on worker well‐being, this paper aims to examine the application of flexible work arrangements through the experiences of core workers in a small, European‐owned, New Zealand manufacturing firm.

Design/methodology/approach

A participatory action research approach is taken.

Findings

The research reveals that flexible employment arrangements utilised in this firm did not afford protection to core workers as theory suggests. Both core and peripheral workers were exposed to pressure primarily to extend their hours of work and to reduce their expectations regarding remuneration. Production level increases were not reflected in increases in numbers of core workers; in fact perceived job security was low. Core workers felt pressure to work extended hours out of their commitment to the firm, each other, and to maintain their own employment.

Practical implications

The use of more democratic processes inherent in action research oriented at workplace well‐being are shown to have had some value toward enhancing worker well‐being.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that the participative project placed pressure upon management and that it had the potential to redress a power imbalance within the employment relationship.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Mark Hepworth, Philipp Grunewald and Geoff Walton

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical discussion on the nature of research into people's information behaviour, and in particular the contribution of the…

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2052

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical discussion on the nature of research into people's information behaviour, and in particular the contribution of the phenomenological approach for the development of information solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a conceptual analysis drawing on the research literature and personal research experience.

Findings

The paper brings to the foreground the relative value of different conceptual approaches and how these underpin and relate to the development of information solutions.

Research limitations/implications

The paper, due to the breadth and complexity of the subject, serves to highlight key issues and bringing together ideas. Some topics deserve further explanation. However, this was beyond the scope of this paper.

Practical implications

A conceptual framework is provided that indicates the value of the epistemic spectrum for information behaviour studies and provides support for action research and participative design.

Social implications

Taking a phenomenological approach, and consequently either a first person approach and/or a highly participative approach to research, challenges the relationship between researcher and respondent. It also raises questions about why the authors conduct research and for whom it is intended.

Originality/value

The paper makes explicit the underlying philosophical assumptions and how these ideas influence the way the authors conduct research; it highlights the significance of Cartesian dualism and indicates the significance of these assumptions for the development of information solutions. It supports the view that researchers and developers should be open to respondents leading the exploration of their needs.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2011

Maria Jakubik

The paper seeks to provide a theoretical contribution to the current phase of the knowledge creation theory of knowledge management (KM) by addressing the need for a

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3833

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to provide a theoretical contribution to the current phase of the knowledge creation theory of knowledge management (KM) by addressing the need for a paradigm shift and having more ontological and epistemological discussions.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed “becoming to know” framework builds on the KM literature review and on the study of learning, knowing and becoming concepts from several perspectives. Both conceptual and empirical research papers contribute to the framework.

Findings

The paper presents the challenges of KM; it identifies five phases of the knowledge creation theory development through 1995‐2008; it summarizes the main criticism against the theory; and it proposes the “becoming epistemology” concept and the “becoming to know” framework. The main elements of this framework are: engaging, exploring, experiencing, emerging, enabling and evolving.

Research implications

Study of the KM literature reveals several other challenges that are not addressed here and could provide opportunities for researchers. The paper calls for more discussions regarding the paradigm shift and for more attention to the participative research paradigm, as well as action and case study research in KM.

Originality/value

Drawing on the participative paradigm, epistemology of practice, extended epistemology, transformative teleology, becoming ontology and on concepts of learning, knowing, and becoming, the proposed framework illustrates the dynamic, iterative, interactive interplay and evolution of ontological and epistemological knowledge creation spirals that is the essence of the knowledge creation theory.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Michael W. Stebbins, Judy L. Valenzuela and Jean-Francois Coget

Since 1973, the pharmacy operations division of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (KPMCP) has used long-term action research programs as the principal method for…

Abstract

Since 1973, the pharmacy operations division of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (KPMCP) has used long-term action research programs as the principal method for orchestrating change. This chapter covers the evolution of action research theory within large, complex organizations, with particular attention to health care organizations. Four case examples from KPMCP are discussed in depth and mapped to the recently advanced Roth model of insider action research. This model considers external and internal business context, the perceived need to create new organizational capabilities, as well as insider action research theory and learning mechanisms used in change programs. Issues posed by the Roth model are explored, and new theory is advanced regarding the need for a long-term perspective, the advantages and difficulties posed when managers act as insider action researchers, and the quality of data gathering that takes place during insider action research change programs.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-547-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Bob Dick

This paper is Bob Dick’s latest conceptualisation of much of his extensive work (including his AREOL course: action research and evaluation online). His focus is on…

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3716

Abstract

This paper is Bob Dick’s latest conceptualisation of much of his extensive work (including his AREOL course: action research and evaluation online). His focus is on postgraduate programs. He discusses the choices that a postgraduate student faces in conducting action research: as a technician or craftsperson; primarily theory‐driven or data‐driven research; emphasis on action or research; choices in methodology; and choices in methods to involve people and to collect and analyse data. He also takes up other key issues including literature review, generalising and writing.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 23 July 2014

Gertjan Schuiling

This chapter describes the change efforts and action research projects at a Dutch multinational which, over a period of 25 years, produced in one of its businesses a…

Abstract

This chapter describes the change efforts and action research projects at a Dutch multinational which, over a period of 25 years, produced in one of its businesses a zigzag path toward collaborative leadership dynamics at the horizontal and vertical interfaces. The chapter also identifies the learning mechanisms that helped achieve this transformation. Changing the patterns at the vertical interfaces proved to be a most tricky, complex, and confusing operation. The data show that organizations need hierarchical interfaces between levels, but are hindered by the hierarchical leadership dynamics at these interfaces. The data furthermore show that competitive performance requires more than redesigning horizontal interfaces. A business can only respond with speed and flexibility to threats and opportunities in the external environment when the leadership dynamics at agility-critical vertical interfaces are also changed.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-312-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Gill Walker and Fiona Poland

The importance of developing intermediate care options for older people is gaining increasing prominence in the UK with the promotion of new health and social care…

Abstract

The importance of developing intermediate care options for older people is gaining increasing prominence in the UK with the promotion of new health and social care partnerships. Consequent changes in practice and values are demanded from staff. An action research approach provides a process of generating information linked to dialogues which facilitate such changes. This article draws on a case study of nursing staff working with older people in a newly‐defined rehabilitation setting in a Welsh community hospital. The action research cycle reported, focused on a series of collaborative interventions aimed at bringing about such changes in thinking and practice from a ‘doing for’ to an ‘enabling’ rehabilitative style of nursing. Three questionnaires and a round of group interviews were successively undertaken with a group of 49 staff, with planning and discussion sessions taking place between each data collection round. The process highlighted differing assumptions between different grades of nursing staff and between nurses and therapists about the nature of the rehabilitative process and how far it could be integrated with nursing care. The article discusses how the action research process supported a shared change in perspective that progress needed to be made to work in an integrated rehabilitative way. Participative approaches, such as action research, should be drawn on if the positive and cost‐effective benefits of rehabilitation for older people are to be more actively realised.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Svetlana Shmulyian, Barry Bateman, Ruth G. Philpott and Neelu K. Gulri

This chapter analyzes the success factors, outcomes, and future viability of large-group methods. We have used an exploratory action research approach focusing on eight…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the success factors, outcomes, and future viability of large-group methods. We have used an exploratory action research approach focusing on eight variously purposed large-group methods (AmericaSpeaks, Appreciative Inquiry, Conference Model®, Decision Accelerator, Future Search, Participative Design, Strategic Change Accelerator/ACT (IBM), and Whole-Scale™ Change). We interviewed nine leading practitioners and creators for each method, as well as six clients who had played key roles in most of these methods' execution at their organizations, asking them to reflect on the current practices and outcomes and the future of each respective large-group method, as well as the methods as a group of interventions. Based on our findings derived through theme and content analysis of interviews, we purport that both the Art (excellence in method execution) and the Artist (the right facilitator) are necessary for achieving desired outcomes of the large-group methods. We stipulate that critical elements of the Art include these five common elements (or five “I”s): having the right Individuals in the room; aiming the method at resolving the right Issue; having Intentional process (including pre-work, intra-method process, and follow-up); having the right Information in the meeting; and using the right Infrastructure (such as appropriate physical space, technology, etc.). We suggest that while these elements of Art are important, the simultaneous requisite role of the Artist is to manage the tension between the rigidity of the Art (the 5 “I”s) and the emerging human dynamics occurring between the large-group method process and the associated evolving client objectives. That is, to achieve desired outcomes, the execution of large-group method needs to be both highly premeditated and ingenious. We supplement our findings with client case descriptions and quotes from the practitioners and conclude that these large-group methods are particularly appropriate for resolving a variety of issues facing today's organizations operating under the conditions of high technology saturation, interdependence, globalization, economic downturn, and others – and that this, with some exceptions, will likely remain the case in the future. However, the future use of these methods will be challenged by the availability of Artists who can execute the methods so they lead to desired outcomes. We close with discussion of open questions and directions for future research.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-191-7

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Alfons van Marrewijk, Marcel Veenswijk and Stewart Clegg

The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the role of intervention‐oriented scientists in the process of organisation development. The paper seeks to contribute to the…

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3180

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the role of intervention‐oriented scientists in the process of organisation development. The paper seeks to contribute to the growing interest in design studies for organisation development and argues that a focus on reflexivity is missing in current debate. The aim of the paper to develop critical reflexiveness for organization design studies by introducing the ethnoventionist approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the ideal forms of clinical inquiry, participative action research, ethnography, and the ethnoventionist approach. The ethnoventionist approach is described by its central aspects: a focus on reflexivity, a management (but not managerialist) orientation, commitment to obtaining a deep understanding, connecting the multi‐layered context, and studying in pre‐arranged longitudinal intervals.

Findings

The ethnoventionist approach uses organisational ethnographies to facilitate intervention strategies intended to improve organisations. An example of such an approach in the design of new collaborative practices in the Dutch construction sector is drawn on.

Practical implications

The essence of the ethnoventionist approach is to obtain a deeper understanding of organisational change. The ethnoventionist approach helps to overcome a lack of attention to management in current ethnographic bodies of knowledge and to deepen existing management approaches to change dynamics. Ethnoventionist approaches can be very useful for intervention‐oriented studies of change processes which require high levels of engagement and which produce high‐quality ethnographic data.

Originality/value

This paper explores a new research approach that has not been discussed previously.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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