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Images of changing practice through reflective action research

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)244-256
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review action research approaches to changing practice through reflection, identifying themes, issues and questions relevant to a broader community of research practitioners. It invites additional layering in concept, enactment and account.

Design/methodology/approach – A framework for considering interwoven dimensions of action research as first-, second- and third-person inquiry is presented. The paper then works through stories to explore the complementarities of action research with other genres of research, addressing developments of practice through reflection. Questions of general relevance are identified.

Findings – Action research is a richly diverse range of approaches having much in common with a broader community who seek to develop embodied practice and practical knowing, work in collaboration, respect multiple ways of knowing, and influence change in social systems. Frames, approaches, practices and questions from action research can be applied more generally. The paper articulates a profusion of questions. These include inviting attention to researchers’ reflective practices, to different ways of exploring issues of power, and to questioning (organizational) contexts in which interventions are set.

Practical implications – Practices of inquiry and intervention for social and organizational change are explored. Attention is drawn to issues of power and how they might affect action with a participatory intent. Ways of developing understandings and enactments are offered.

Originality/value – This paper offers a companion language and set of practices from which to view other genres of research/intervention interested in developing practice through reflection.