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Action Research and Organisation Theory

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Anne Marie Berg and Olav Eikeland

This book discusses action research and organisation theory. Kurt Lewin said, «There is nothing as practical as a good theory». But «good theory» is also developed from practice. By linking action research and mainstream thinking about organisations the contributors challenge and transcend the disparate positions and insufficiencies within both research communities. The texts cover fields or topics not usually addressed in industrial action research, such as gender, ethics, organisational rationalities, the question of self-reference, the discourses of management and leadership and the public-private dimension. What emerges as common recommendations from most of the chapters are more self-reflective, self-critical, and task-oriented research approaches with a clear space for deliberation in the application of knowledge. The contributors come from the Work Research Institute (WRI) in Oslo.
Contents: Anne Marie Berg/Olav Eikeland: Organisation Theory and Action Research - Antagonism, Indifference, or Attraction? – Olav Eikeland: Historical Transformations of the Private-Public Relationship, and Current Work Life Developments – Anne Marie Berg: Organizational rationalities and change management – Fredrik Winther: Breaking out of Leadership Research – Lars Klemsdal/Helge Svare: Creating ethical space within organizations - An action research approach to ethical integration of organizations – Anne Inga Hilsen: Industrial action research in a hierarchic, bureaucratic organisation - a discussion of tacit organisation theory embedded in scientific practice – Øystein Gullvåg Holter: Gender and Action Research.