Miren Larrea is Senior researcher at Orkestra, Basque Institute of Competitiveness and lecturer at the University of Deusto. Her research focuses on action research for territorial development, in the intersection of regional innovation systems, local economic development and action research. She is the academic director of the Territorial Development Laboratory, an action research program supported by the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa initiated in 2009. In addition to academic experience, her trajectory combines practitioner experience in the development of cooperation networks in a county development agency.
This first issue of 2019 keeps up with the tradition of the International Journal of Action Research to publish articles from different socio-political and organisational contexts. In the years, action research has broadened its scope and developed new theoretical insights. In the five articles presented in this issue, we hope to share some of the practices and reflections that reveal the renewed relevance of action research today.
In "Re-envisioning Innovation: From Vision to Strategy to Plan and Back Again" Michal Lysek, Jorgen Palmhager, Mike Danilovic describe an action research study that took place in a Swedish industrial communications business. It focuses on the company's business and innovation strategy, particularly on the orientations and motivations of employees. The study provides the reader with some fresh insights into how companies engage, or fail to engage, their employees both in 'vision' and in innovation as a process particularly during the different phases of growth. The results show that people have different mindsets throughout these phases and going back is challenging because while the organisation's employees need a vision, visions come without detailed plans and will not work unless they are supplemented by inspirational communication. The study also provides the company's management with a better understanding of how it might engage its employees in its vision and re-engage them in innovation.
Horacio Bozzano and Tomas Canevari, in "Scientific Agendas and Work Tables. An action research initiative in La Plata, Ensenada and Berisso, Argentina" analyse the scientific agendas and permanent work tables as emerging concepts developed over three decades of Participatory-Action-Research in Argentina. Two cases, one in an informal urbanisation and the other in an industrial and residential flood zone in La Plata, Ensenada and Berisso, Buenos Aires, Argentina, give meaning to two Agendas with their respective Tables: "Puente de Fierro Possible Territory" and "Territory, Industry and Environment". The purpose was to develop a scientific approach that brings closer the wishes and needs of people with public policies, analysing the relationships between political, economic and social powers, as well as in the multiple micro-powers at play. The paper is organised in three parts, what science, what agendas, and what praxis, challenging the researcher to think though his/her basic assumptions regarding these three components of any action research process.
The article "Exploring Doctorateness in Insider Action Research", by David Coghlan, Paul Coughlan and Abraham B. (Rami) Shani presents the process of learning/practicing action research as a doctoral student who is at the same time part of the empirical context of his/her research. As action research is sometimes regarded as not or little "academic" or "scientific" in universities and research centres, the article is an important contribution for definitively integrating action research as an indispensable tool for social research today. The distinction of first, second and third person inquiry/practice is relevant for bringing into dialogue the subjective dimension of research with the challenge of objectivity, of theory and practice, of the local and broader context. Furthermore, the authors use a language that highlights the didactical and practical character of the text for the education of researchers. The tables and the figure are helpful for illustrating and summing up the arguments.
Amir Kalan, Parisa Jafari, and Mahdyar Aghajani, in the article "A Collaborative practitioner inquiry into societal and power-relational contexts of activist writing community's textual events" describe experiences with a community literacy approach to writing instruction in a cultural studies and literary criticism workshop in Tehran, Iran (2009-2014). The writers narrate the process of writing a book by a group of Iranian feminists, who chose to write about and critique dominant discourses in Iranian hip hop in an attempt to start a conversation with young underground Iranian rappers. Adopting collaborative practitioner inquiry, the researchers discuss different steps of the process of writing and publishing the book, and also the pitfalls and challenges that they encountered in the project and the ensuing interventions. In the course of sharing their reflections, the writers highlight the sociocultural and power relational contexts of their writing process to sensitise writing instructors to the often invisible social and political layers of the act of writing.
Coming from the Philippine context, the article "Technology's roles in student-centred learning in higher education", by Jose Eos Trinidad, and Galvin Radley Ngo, refers to an action research project on how teachers from different areas of knowledge use information and communication technologies and how students respond to their use. The study emphasises discussion and understanding about how technologies can contribute to improved student learning by adopting the student-centered learning perspective associated with the use of technologies. It is suggested that such use may be most effective when teachers are trained in the appropriation of technological resources and tools.
Our thanks to the authors and reviewers who contributed to this issue of the International Journal of Action Research.
Danilo R. Streck Editor-in-chief
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|Author:||Streck, Danilo R.|
|Publication:||International Journal of Action Research|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2019|
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