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The Sage Handbook of Action Research

'For anyone seeking to create meaning out of life, inspire others with publication of research discoveries and insights, and help the world become a better place within which to live and work, action research holds great promise as an approach. The challenge is to do it well and with rigor. The Handbook is a magnificent collection of articles that will help the reader do all of that' - Richard E. Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University and ESADE 'This second volume will be a welcome extension of the landmark first volume of the SAGE Handbook of Action Research. It effectively secures the field's 'second wave' in a particularly powerful and creative articulation of well-theorised practice. It could not be more timely for a fast-growing field that has attracted recent appreciation from parties as disparate as Shell, 3M, Australian Aboriginal women in outback Australia working to prevent harm to children and the Secretary General of the UN' - Yoland Wadsworth 'For anyone thinking about or doing action research, this book is an obligatory point of reference. If any one text both maps the action research paradigm, and at the same time moves it on, this is it' - Bill Cooke, Manchester Business School Building on the strength of the seminal first edition, the The SAGE Handbook of Action Research has been completley updated to bring chapters in line with the latest qualitative and quantitative approaches in this field of social inquiry. Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury have introduced new part commentaries that draw links between different contributions and show their interrelations. Throughout, the contributing authors really engage with the pragmatics of doing action research and demonstrate how this can be a rich and rewarding reflective practice. They tackle questions of how to integrate knowledge with action, how to collaborate with co-researchers in the field, and how to present the necessarily 'messy' components in a coherent fashion. The organization of the volume reflects the many different issues and levels of analysis represented. This volume is an essential resource for scholars and professionals engaged in social and political inquiry, organizational research and education.
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Table of Contents

PART ONE: GROUNDINGSIntroduction to Groundings - Peter Reason and Hilary BradburyLiving Inquiry - Patricia Gaya Wicks, Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury Personal, Political and Philosophical Groundings of Action Research PracticeParticipatory Action Research as Practice - Marja Liisa SwantzSome Trends in the Praxis of Participatory Action Research - Md. Anisur RahmanAction Research and the Challenge of Scope - Bjorn Gustavsen, Agneta Hansson and Thoralf U QvaleAction Research at Work - Hilary Bradbury et al Creating the Future Following the Path from LewinContinuing the Journey - Colleen Reid and Wendy Frisby Articulating the Dimensions of Feminist Participatory ResearchTowards Transformational Liberation - M Brinton Lykes and Amelia Mallona Participatory Action Research and Activist PraxisCritical Theory and Participatory Action Research - Stephen KemmisSystems Thinking and Practice for Action Research - Ray IsonSocial Construction and Research as Action - Kenneth J Gergen and Mary M GergenPower and Knowledge - John Gaventa and Andrea CornwallAppreciable Worlds and Inspired Inquiry - Danielle P Zandee and David L CooperriderEthics and Action Research - Mary Brydon Miller Deepening Our Commitment to Principles of Social Justice and Redefining Systems of Democratic PracticeThe Future of Universities - Morten Levin and Davydd Greenwood Action Research and the Transformation of Higher EducationAction Research, Partnerships and Social Impacts - L David Brown and Rajesh Tandon The Institutional Collaboration of PRIA and IDRPART TWO: PRACTICESIntroduction to Practices - Peter Reason and Hilary BradburyAction Inquiry - William R Torbert and Steven S Taylor Interweaving Multiple Qualities of Attention for Timely ActionAction Science - Victor J Friedman and Tim Rogers Linking Causal Theory and Meaning-Making in Action ResearchClinical Inquiry/Research - Edgar H ScheinThe Practice of Appreciative Inquiry - James D Ludema and Ronald E FryPRA, PLA and Pluralism - Robert Chambers Practice and TheoryAction Learning - Mike Pedler and John BurgoyneThe Jury Is Out - Tom Wakeford et al How Far Can Participatory Projects Go towards Reclaiming Democracy?Learning History - George Roth and Hilary Bradbury An Action Research Practice in Support of Actionable LearningExtending Epistemology within a Co-Operative Inquiry - John Heron and Peter ReasonAction Research in Health Care - Ian HughesAction Research on a Large Scale - Ann W Martin Issues and PracticesTheorizing Audience, Products and Provocation - Michelle Fine and Maria Elena TorreTaking the Action Turn - Sonia Ospina et al Lessons from Bringing Participation to Qualitative ResearchPART THREE: EXEMPLARSIntroduction to Exemplars - Hilary Bradbury and Peter Reason Varieties of Action ResearchCharismatic Inquiry in Concert - John Heron and Greg Lahood Action Research in the Realm of 'the between'Presentational Knowing - Jennifer Mullett Bridging Experience and Expression with Art, Poetry and SongWorking with 'Not Knowing' amid Power Dynamics among Managers - Marianne Kristiansen and Jorgen Bloch-Poulsen From Fault-Finding and Exclusion towards Co-Learning and InclusionLearning to Love Our Black Selves - Taj Johns Healing from Internalized OppressionsThe Tapestry of Leadership - Lyle Yorks et al Lessons from Six Co-Operative Inquiry Groups of Social Justice LeadersThe Workplace Stress and Aggression Project - Rita Kowalski, Lyle Yorks and Mariann Jelinek Ways of Knowing - Our Rosetta Stone for PracticeTheatre in Participatory Action Research - Meghna GuhathakurtaExperiences from BangladeshChanging the Culture of Dependancy to Allow for Successful Outcomes in Participatory Research - Maria Teresa Castillo, Maria Dolores Viga de Alva and Federico Dickinson 14 Years of Experience in Yucatan, MexicoHealth Promotion and Participatory Action Research - Lai Fong Chui The Significance of Participatory Praxis in Developing Participatory Health Intervention'This Is so Democratic!!' Action Research and Policy Development in East Timor - Ernie Stringer'No - You Don't Know How We Feel' - Gillian Chowns Collaborative Inquiry Using Children Facing the Life-Threatening Illness of a ParentIT and Action Sense-Making - Chris Dymek Making Sense of a New TechnologyPART FOUR: SKILLSIntroduction to Skills - Peter Reason and Hilary BradburyNegotiating the Challenges of Participatory Action Research - Jill Grant, Geoff Nelson and Terry Mitchell Relationships, Power, Participation, Change and CredibilityGetting in, Getting on, Getting out - Kate Louise McArdle On Working with Second-Person Inquiry GroupsFacilitation as Action Research in the Moment - Jenny MackewnMuddling through - Geoff Mead Facing the Challenges of Managing a Large-Scale Action Research ProjectInsider Action Research - David Coghlan and A B (Rami) Shani The Dynamics of Developing New CapabilitiesTeaching Reflective Practice in the Action Science / Action Inquiry Tradition - Steven S Taylor, Jenny W Rudolph and Erica Gabrielle Foldy Key Stages, Concepts and Practices The Praxis of Educating Action Researchers - Morten LevinFinding Form in Writing for Action Research - Judi MarshallConcluding Reflections - Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury Whither Action Research


About the Author

I retired in 2009 from an academic career at the University of Bath in which my primary contribution was to the theory and practice of participatory action research. I was Director of the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice (CARPP) and co-founder of the MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice. In these programmes we pioneered graduate education based on collaborative, experiential and action-oriented forms of inquiry.


This it is a compendium of guidance, reassuring the action researcher of the role of the spirit of inquiry, the often tacit nature of knowledge, the complexity and messiness of the action research process and the organizational and social worlds it inhabits and seeks to change. [...] Those PhD supervisors who have concerns about the link between individual postgraduate research and a wider social change mission have a new `bible' in this handbook, as the relationship is clear throughout between academic knowledge and social and organizational change-focused purposes and practices. -- Dr Maeve O'Grady

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