Standing Working Group 4 (Sub-theme 04):
Action Research –
Reconstructing Organizations through Action-Research Processes
ISEOR, University of Lyon 3 (France)
Work Research Institute (Norway)
University of Glasgow (UK)
University of Strasbourg (France)
Call for papers
Kurt Lewin used to argue that 'defreezing' and upheaval was a necessary upsetting step in a change process. Indeed, one of the main objectives of Action research methodologies has been to deconstruct organizational patterns through a kind of 'creative destruction', which also implies rejecting chaos. It is all the more necessary in the present period of upheaval and disorder to accompany the actors in such an upsetting-reconstructing process.
Contributors are expected to identify and clarify the conditions for action-researchers to better meet the requirements of rebuilding the organization through crisis solving and learning process. The following issues can be addressed in the submissions of papers:
- Do action-research practices explicit the silent features of organizational life, in particular the strategies of the actors and their relationships with life at work?
- How action-processes can help actors strategize organizational change through democratic across-the-board participation and ensure their commitment?
- How action-research practices may ensure a better which is a major requirement to successfully reach positive cooperation and overcome conflicts while resolving disorder?
- Do action-research methods put organizations back on an even keel through a cognitive, sense-making and shared knowledge creation process?
- Do action-research processes provide actors with innovative tools for reconstructing organization designs?
- How action-research can enhance dynamic change through mobilizing and promoting untapped energy in the organization?
Contributors are encouraged to reflect upon a variety of action-research methodologies ranging from participative observation to intervention and collaborative research. The members of the sub-theme team will foster comparisons across countries.
When preparing their submissions, authors may be interested in analysing the publications in journals such as Action Research (Sage) and the International Journal of Action Research (Rainer Hampp Verlag publications) as well as the series Research in Management Consulting (Information Age Publishing).
About the convenors
Olav Eikeland is a senior researcher at the Work Research Institute in Oslo and associate professor of higher education at the University College of Oslo. A philosopher by training, with a PhD in ancient Greek philosophy, he has worked as an action researcher at the Work Research Institute in Oslo since 1985. His action research has mainly focused on developing and institutionalising organisational learning capacities in municipal organisations in Norway. Eikeland's special interest is the relevance of action research and dialogical philosophy for solving challenges facing social research and modern work organisations produced by the emergent social redistribution and reorganisation of knowledge production and the changing social relations between learning, research, and practice.
Thierry Nobre is a professor of Management at the University of Strasbourg. He received his doctoral degree at ISEOR, University of Lyon. His research interest is the methodology of intervention research, which is a specific approach to action research. He teaches research methdos and has mainly published in the field of intervention research applied to hospitals and health-care management.
Marc Bonnet is a professor of Management at the University of Lyon 3 and he is deputy director of the ISEOR research centre. He has carried out intervention research projects in a variety of companies in the past 25 years. He is supervisor of the English version of RSDG review (Management Sciences). He has published a series of papers in French and International reviews focused on the qualimetrics approach to action research. He is also member of the board of the Practice Theme Committee of the Academy of Management.
Robert MacIntosh is a professor of Strategic Management at the University of Glasgow and is responsible for Executive Programmes there. He originally trained as an engineer and completed a PhD in manufacturing management using an action research approach. Since then his main research interests have focused on strategic change in both the public and the private sector. He has been interested in the issue of management research methods for over 15 years and has been involved with the EGOS sub-theme on Action Research since 2001.