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Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization
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Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization

Fourth Edition
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April 2014 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The Fourth Edition of this best-selling book is packed full of practical, expert advice on how to navigate the murky waters of ethics, politics and management in your own organization. Multidisciplinary in its approach to action research, the book sets out a step-by-step template for researchers to follow and adapt.

Coghlan and Brannick:

  • Introduce and contextualize action research as a method
  • Provide guidance on how to design and implement your action research project
  • Explore interlevel dynamics
  • Discuss role duality and access
  • Suggest effective ways to analyze your data
  • Provide helpful tips on how to disseminate your findings.

The book and supporting companion website are the ideal resource for students, researchers and practitioners hoping to generate real change through their action research project and will be particularly relevant to those studying Business and Management, Nursing and Health, Education and Sociology.


 
PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS
 
Introducing Action Research
Inquiring in your own organization

 
A brief introduction to action research

 
Three audiences, voices or practices

 
Enacting action research cycles

 
The action research cycles

 
Pre-step: context and purpose

 
Main steps

 
Meta-learning

 
Quality and rigour in action research

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 1.1: Enacting the action research cycles

 
 
Knowing in Action
Knowing and learning

 
General empirical method

 
Authenticity

 
Action science and collaborative developmental inquiry as first-person practice

 
Second-person skills

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 2.1 First-person knowing in action

 
Exercise 2.2 Keeping a journal

 
Exercise 2.3 Developing inquiry skills

 
 
Understanding Action Research
Action Research as practical knowing

 
The foundations of action research

 
The philosophy of action research

 
Modalities of action research

 
Organization development through action research

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
 
PART TWO: IMPLEMENTATION
 
Constructing and Selecting Your Insider Project
Constructing the action research project

 
Selecting the research project

 
Writing an insider action research proposal

 
Developing the action research

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 4.1 Questions for constructing and selecting

 
Exercise 4.2 Writing a thesis proposal

 
 
Designing and Implementing Your Action Research Project
The process of planned change

 
Planned change through action research

 
Learning mechanisms

 
Data generation as intervention

 
The role of technology

 
How do you know when to stop?

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 5.1 The process of implementation

 
Exercise 5. 2 Reflection for praxis

 
 
Interlevel Dynamics in Insider Action Research
Interlevel dynamics of change

 
Interlevel dynamics of strategy

 
Levels of analysis in action research

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 6.1 Applying interlevel dynamics

 
Exercise 6.2 Change issues

 
Exercise 6.3 The learning window

 
 
Using Frameworks to Study Organizations in Action
Organizational diagnosis

 
Systems thinking and practice

 
Change and learning

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 7.1 Understanding Your Organization

 
Exercise 7.2 Using Systems Thinking

 
 
PART THREE: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN RESEARCHING YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION
 
Researching Your Own Organization
Focus of the researcher and system

 
Quadrant 1

 
Quadrant 2

 
Quadrant 3

 
Quadrant 4

 
Action Research at Home

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 8.1 Assessing your research focus

 
 
Preunderstanding, Role Duality and Access
Preunderstanding

 
Role duality: Organizational and researcher roles

 
Access

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 9.1 Assessing Your Preunderstanding

 
 
Managing Ethics and Organizational Politics
Ethics

 
Politics

 
Integrating roles, politics and ethics

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
Exercise 10.1 Assessing ethics and politics

 
Exercise 10.2 Force field analysis

 
 
Writing up Your Insider Action Research Work
An action research dissertation

 
Constructing and writing your dissertation

 
Dissemination

 
Publishing

 
Conclusions

 
Recommended reading

 
 
In Conclusion

A comprehensive, accessible and informative text, this is ideal for any undergraduate or postgraduate research student – it clearly guides the reader through theory, implementation & the operational challenges of undertaking action research within your own organisation

David Gaylard, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Chichester University
Chichester University

'This fourth edition of Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization ismuch more than a research methodology textbook. It is a hybrid, combining theory with a practitioner’s reference, to provide a window into understanding the complexity, challenges and rewards of insider action research (AR)....The book speaks to researchers, post-graduate students, faculty and experienced practitioners because it provides a sustained and penetrating commentary on many of the prevailing phenomena and theories in the field of action learning and action science.'

Anne Graham Cagney
School of Education, Waterford Institute of Technology
Action Learning: Research and Practice, 2015

The edition is an extremely valuable, authoritative and unique survey guide to insider action research.  We could not have implemented our breakthrough curriculum in action research without the text.

Benito L. Teehankee
Professor, Management and Organization, De La Salle University

Excellent text for work-based learners that will want to consider using their own organisation to undertake a research project.

Dr Emmanuel Manu
Department of Construction, Nottingham Trent University
December 13, 2016

With professional doctorates, research is usually within the student's own workplace or profession and a participatory approach is often adopted. There is useful information and advice here from both the 'action research; and 'your own organisation' perspective.

Dr Rebecca ORourke
Medical Education Unit, Leeds University
April 13, 2016

There is a growing trend for students to undertake research in organisations that they're familiar with, i.e. those that they're employed within. This book introduces these researchers to this type of research and allows them to explore whether or not such an approach is appropriate.

Mr adam choonara
Natural Sciences, Middlesex University
November 3, 2015

For part time students, studying their own organisation offers both great access and a great opportunity to learn - this book supports what can be a difficult and rewarding site for research.

Mr Alistair Bowden
Business School, University of Teesside
July 1, 2015

Very informative. A good introduction to those new to action research.

Miss Martina Kirlew
Health and Social Care, University of Bolton
July 1, 2015

Good introduction for those new to action research. Clear and conclse with useful exercises at the end of the chapters. I would recommend to both undergraduate and PG research students, in addition to members of the local action research network.

Miss Jane Jervis
Faculty of Health, Keele University
June 15, 2015

This is an engaging text on how to use action research at your own place of work. It should provide depth guidance to those wishing to study their own organization and make change happen.

Dr Grant Coates
Social Sciences Department, Roehampton University
June 11, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One: Introducing Action Research


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