Approaching an action research thesis an overview

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Approaching an action research thesis an overview

A colleague Paul Ledington quoting his PhD supervisor Peter Checkland, I think defines a thesis as something "with a new sentence in it". The rest of the thesis is necessary to support the new sentence. In fact, there will be more than one new sentence. But I think Paul neatly defines what theses are required to do: Denis Philips, quoting John Dewey, claims that all that research can do is to make a "warrantable assertion".

We may not be able to claim that we have pinned down the truth. But if we can say that our methodology and evidence allow a reasonable claim to be made, then that is as much as anyone can reasonably demand.

Taken together, these two ideas define a good PhD as one which is able to claim its methodology as appropriate to the situation, and able to support a claim of some warrantable addition to knowledge. This can provide a starting point for thinking about a good action research thesis. As the name implies, action research is intended to produce both change "action" and understanding "research".

These two dimensions, change and understanding, can usefully be considered for each aspect of a research proposal. The section which follows can function as a checklist when you are choosing an approach to action research. Later sections describe the methodology and ways of using it to conduct the research, and how the research can be reported in the eventual thesis.

Choosing an approach In deciding if your topic is viable, and later in reporting it, the two outcomes of action and research are important in their effects on choice of situation, participants, methodology and literature.

Justifying the research It is usual for a proposal, and the eventual thesis, to offer reasons which explain why the research as worthwhile. Is the intended change worthwhile? Will the study add to understanding of a worthwhile research question?

Methodology The purpose of the methodology is to allow both an assured contribution to knowledge, and successful change. In the thesis you want to be able to claim that your conclusions, and the data you base them on, have survived your attempts to disprove them and find other alternatives.

An appropriate methodology is what enables you to make this claim. A later section describes this in more detail. Choosing an action research methodology requires you to offer a justification for that choice.

This is most easily done on the grounds that both action and research are intended outcomes, and that action research provides the flexibility and responsiveness that are needed for effective change at the same time that it provides a check on the adequacy of data and conclusions.

Will the methodology assist effective change? Are data and interpretations adequately assured by the methodology?

Participants Social research, of whatever form, deals in some way with people. They function at least as informants, directly or indirectly for instance, by being observed. This is the least participative end of a continuum. A much more participative approach may involve them as co-researchers.

The level of participation, and the means used to achieve it, determine the effectiveness of both the action and the research. What is done to involve those who can influence the desired change? To what extent are all stakeholders involved, and by what means? Are all relevant informants sampled?

Approaching an action research thesis an overview

Are the processes which are used suited to validating the information collected or contributed? Literature Accessing the literature is more difficult, in some ways, than it is for other research.

First, there is a greater need to access the methodological literature. Without this, it is harder to offer a sufficient justification for your choice of paradigm and methods.

To complicate matters, there are two methodological literatures. One is directed towards bringing about change.REFLECTION: In your Reflection Journal, explain why the title is so important to a research proposal. You may include information from above or from your own ideas and experiences.

Approaching Action Research from a Socioecological Perspective

research literature on threats to the survival of our species and other existential risks. Contextural Action Research (Action Learning) Contextural Action Research, also sometimes referred to as Action Learning, is an approach derived from Trist’s work on relations between organizations.

The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA eighth edition, including the list of works cited and in-text citations.

Approaching an action research thesis an overview

Management and Business Research [Mark Easterby-Smith, Richard Thorpe, Paul R Jackson, Lena J. Jaspersen] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Sixth Edition continues to give students a comprehensive overview of what is needed to carry-out successful and effective research.

Overview. Action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem-solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational change (Reason & Bradbury, ).

After six decades of action research development, many methods have evolved.

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