In the last months I’ve come across the term Action Research several times. It’s something that Dave Snowden of Cynefin put at the center of their activities, and I know Angela Nobre of the Quarere SIG at KnowledgeBoard is passionate about. Denham Grey points to this free course on action research, so we can get a feeling of what it might mean. Hopefully it will help develop my actionable sense-making, by connecting idea-generating and action in to the same workflow.
UPDATE: I’ve decided to take the on-line course, that will start in February. Julian Elv� has as well. We’ll try and work together on this course. Hopefully it will give both of us more drive to complete this course and stick to our time commitments.

7 reactions on “Action Research

  1. Ton, glad to see you’re developing an interest in Action Research! Here’s another useful link on AR, this time to the Centre for Action Research at Bath University, UK.
    Here you’ll find several papers and other resources on AR. I’m just embarking on this methodology for my PhD so I’ll be pleased to share any learning with you. Best C.

  2. Ton,
    I took this course in spring… Or, to be more precise, I tried. The materials are great, the discussions are interesting, but after a few weeks I couldn’t keep up because of the workload.
    So I would recommend it if you are disciplined/focused enough for the distance course. Anyway, the materials are REALLY good, so you can always be in a “reading only” mode as I did…

  3. Hi Ton
    Thanks for the course link – have just downloaded the materials for review, definitely considering signing up for the February email version – I’ll let you know if I do so we can compare notes!

  4. Ton, you should know that Action Research – Action Science is a very old pragmatist school of thought around human behaviours, particularkly ir organisations / managemet science.
    Chris Argyris is the most famous guru in this area. ( He’s a hero of mine since my earliest management science stuff (mid 1980’s in my case) I sum up his stuff as follows
    (A) What people do, and why they do it (and what they say they do, and the reasons they give) are four different things.
    (B) Essentially people “rationalise” in order to insulate themselves (and those they communicate with) from any embarassment of complexity, uncertainty, inconsistency, or even being wrong.
    Hope this helps. (My old MBA dissertation makes some further references to Argyris.)

  5. Guys,
    I’m thinking about joining you to finish the course. I guess “social pressure” can make it a bit easier 🙂

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