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Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization

Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

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.

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  
Quality and rigour in action research  
Recommended reading  
Exercise 1.1: Enacting the action research cycles  
Knowing in Action
Knowing and learning  
General empirical method  
Action science and collaborative developmental inquiry as first-person practice  
Second-person skills  
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  
Recommended reading  
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  
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?  
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  
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  
Recommended reading  
Exercise 7.1 Understanding Your Organization  
Exercise 7.2 Using Systems Thinking  
Researching Your Own Organization
Focus of the researcher and system  
Quadrant 1  
Quadrant 2  
Quadrant 3  
Quadrant 4  
Action Research at Home  
Recommended reading  
Exercise 8.1 Assessing your research focus  
Preunderstanding, Role Duality and Access
Role duality: Organizational and researcher roles  
Recommended reading  
Exercise 9.1 Assessing Your Preunderstanding  
Managing Ethics and Organizational Politics
Integrating roles, politics and ethics  
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  
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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ISBN: 9781446272565