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Turning to Practice with Action Research


Benedicte Brøgger and Olav Eikeland

Since the turn of the millennium, various ways of «turning to practice» have resurfaced as major concerns of organisational researchers. And once again, the call is out for relevant and actionable knowledge among management and organisational researchers. This book shows how action research and related approaches have turned to practice by developing knowledge both from practice and for practice without giving up on theoretical and methodological ambitions. Contributions from Norway, Ireland, France, and the USA are included, relating action based approaches to other more mainstream methodological and theoretical approaches. How can practical alternatives to both explanatory and interpretative approaches be developed? How can we devise methods that actually support both practical change and creation of valid knowledge? How can we include local knowledge in the research process? The authors – all organisation researchers – present different answers but are united in addressing and discussing urgent questions like these.
Contents: Benedicte Brøgger/Olav Eikeland: Introduction – Olav Eikeland: Habitus-Validity in Organisational Theory and Research - Social Research and Work Life Transformed – Lars Klemsdal: Making Sense of Managerial Reforms through Action Research – Benedicte Brøgger: Research and Change - a Comparison of Action Research and Conventional Social Science Research Methods – Jarle Hildrum/Siw M. Fosstenløkken: The Action Researcher as Change Agent: On Dialogue Facilitation and Network Collaboration – Marie-José Avenier: A Methodological Framework for Constructing Generic Knowledge with Intended Value both for Academia and Practice – Rickie Moore/Michel Peron: On the Axiology and Actionability of Knowledge Creation: About Organizations In Management Science Research – Lucia Alcántara: Creating Practical and Operational Knowledge from Action Inquiry Technologies – David Coghlan/Aoife McDermott: Creating Value for Scholars and Practitioners: Lessons from Organisation Development through Action Research and the Processual Approach – Øyvind Pålshaugen: The Stalemate of Organization Theory: Ever New Frameworks, Never New Methods - May Actor-Network Theory provide an Exception to this Rule? – Trine Deichman-Sørensen: Boundary Learning - Work complexities and reflexive practice in action research.