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Critical Literature Review: Action Research

HomeCritical Literature Review: Action Research
07.11.2019
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The workplace problem, in this case, is the fact that I am facing difficulties in dealing with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The workplace problem has been considered critical in most workplaces hence the need to address it in the form of action research. The problem also requires to be considered critical in the future and should be perceived at the same angle in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in problem-solving. The CEO has the tendency of linking the style of leadership with the fact that he is a royal prince as well as the owner of the business. The issue has raised several problems in the workplace since members of staff have no chance to contribute to the decision-making process of the company. There has also been the adoption of traditional procedures. This has led to the failure to utilize the effective performance of the management. Coghlan and Brannick (2010) indicated that research is vital in determining any issues in an organization. It is important to carry out research in an organization in order to understand the forms of actions taken and to be taken in order to deal with certain issues in the workplace. Most importantly, Greenwood and Levin (2007) indicated that there are various human inquiries including collaborative, action, cooperative as well as self-reflective human inquiries. It is crucial to understand the different forms of human inquiry in order to carry out effective actions.

It is clear that action research is a force between drives that lead to a social, personal and professional change. Action research has been defined by Engestrom (2004) as a process of effective inquiry into individual practices towards the service of moving forward into an envisioned future that is aligned with sound values. Friedman, Razer, and Sykes (2004) were very keen on discussing inclusive practice as a science process in management. They indicated that action research into organizational issues can be perceived as being systematic, reflective determinations of people’s actions as well as the influences of those actions. Moreover, Greenwood and Levin (2007) discussed collaborative inquiry among human beings. They indicated that it is crucial to use collaborative actions in order to highlight the diverse methods in which activities are viewed as social processes. Raelin (2009) was keen on developing ways of seeking modalities that are conceptual in nature. The conceptual modalities should involve interactions and relationships into their social settings hence finding ways to improve. In addition, Seo (2003) indicated that organizations should have designers along with stakeholders that show collaboration with other colleagues in order to propose other action courses that assist in improving community work practices. Coghlan (2009) said about clinical researches in a medical setting mentioning that those involved should be able to recognize their opinions as subjective in nature and strive to develop an effective and new understanding of events from many perspectives. In other words, organizational leaders including the CEO should be keen in the manner that they deal with their staff members in order to avoid misunderstandings.

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Bushe and Kassam (2005) introduced the idea of transformational events in their study of organizational behavioral science. They also described the way people hold onto their theories governing their activities as well as the way that the theories lead to organizational defensive schedules along with inhibiting learning. This can be linked to Raelin’s work of 2009 since it was mentioned that action science plays a significant role in building action research in a manner respecting the requirement of scientific clarity as well as practical utility. Most importantly, organizational learning would be vital in developing organizational frameworks. Engestrom (2004) added that the subjects involved in action researches are activities taken and their outcome changed along with transformational thinking. It is also followed by an action or a feeling of change. Seo (2003) was also interested in the same and indicated almost similar concepts stating that while the entire design in action researches is likely to emerge from an individual, the entire change process remains social in nature. In other words, people should learn ways to deal with one another effectively even in an organizational setting. In this case, the CEO should develop channels of communication with other members of the organizational community in order to reach effective decisions. Coghlan and Brannick (2010) also presented an argument falling in the same category as Seo (2003) indicating that there are various categories of action research including practice and inquiry. Practice can be described as an emphasis on developing change that is transformational in nature in an organizational setting through undertaking purposeful actions. On the other hand, inquiry refers to an emphasis on strong methodology as well as methods of assumption validation concerning all that requires change (Friedman, Razer & Sykes, 2004).

Adaptive practice refers to the ability to understand in as well as from practice. Raelin (2009) mentioned that it involves efforts to develop routines as well as to continuously adjust the fitness existing between the requirements of certain learners in a real period and for a period of time that matches the requirements of layers of all the communities involved. In other words, they described it as the process of continuous learning since learners and a field is perceived as evolving hence the balance needs to be involved in a continuous change through adjustments. According to Seo (2003), adaptive expertise can be described as moving in a direction involving innovation and sometimes efficiency. However, the focus is on understanding the interactions that maintain an optimal balance. Considering the works of Greenwood and Levin (2007), it has become evident that it is a systematic series of several methods at a personal level that assists in the interpretation and evaluation of an individual’s actions with an aim of practice improvement. In this case, The CEO should attempt to reach other members of the organization and define an effective leadership style of transformation that everyone is comfortable with. At the organizational level, action research will play a role in enhancing a better understanding of process interactions in order to define the social setting.

The CEO should also be focused on the goals of action research in this case as towards the improvement of practices of professionals in the organization through continuous progression and learning and problem-solving. It would also play a role in understanding the practice of development along with a well-defined action theory. Greenwood and Levin (2007) were clear in their argument about the involvement of action research in organizations that have been facing management and leadership issues. This should be focused on the improvement of communities that practice an embedded activity through participatory research. They also added that action research tends to engage in systematic processes that examine the facts and evidence. The outcomes of such types of researches are relevant, theory forming and practical in nature. In most cases, action research seems different from other types of research (Conger, Kanungo & Menon, 2000). Coghlan and Brannick (2010) added that first-person research usually characterizes the forms of inquiry as well as practice that an individual does hence addressing the capability of that person to be involved in fostering an approach of inquiry to his / her life. This helps them to act both purposefully and with much awareness. Most importantly, the second person inquiry or activity tends to address the capability of the inquiry into the community along with associating and working with others in order to address issues of mutual integration. This involves face-to-face conversations and joint initiatives (Meindl, 1990). The third person inquiry strives at creating inquiry communities that involve individuals that are beyond the second individual action. In other words, Coghlan and Brannick (2010) are focused on researches in the organization indicating that they are vital for continuous consensus and development in organizations. Their projects are aligned to the current research community involving practices.

Greenwood and Levin (2007) were keen on addressing various forms of human inquiry including action, cooperative, collaborative and self-reflective that assist in addressing issues in a community. In this case, the terms collaborative inquiry, cooperative inquiry, human inquiry as well as action inquiry indicate a group of procedures. However, they do not exhaust the approaches. Every inquiry has a significant genealogy despite the fact that the practitioners of the same have fruitful dialogues (Lipman-Blumen & Leavitt, 1999). The authors have a key objective of indicating different forms of inquiries that can immediately help a community to reach an agreement. This involves a reflective process involving a progressive problem-solving process controlled by people working with other individuals in forms of teams in order to improve on the way that they solve their issues. Greenwood and Levin (2007) had a good time explaining that both practical and participatory action research methods can be involved in taking immediate actions in an organization or community that is facing critical management and leadership issues. It would involve the process of participating in a firm in order to drive change whilst at the same period carrying out research. The authors seem to have been supported by both Coghlan and Brannick (2010) when they mentioned that action research can be carried out in big organizations and should be guided through professional activities that are aimed at improvement of strategies, knowledge of surroundings and practical knowledge improvement. In this case, the organization at hand requires a transformation since the CEO is becoming difficult to deal with. The company is adopting the traditional methods of inquiry forgetting that this will lead to critical problems in the future (Maccoby, 2000). It is vital for the management to address the matter at hand and adopt a leadership style that ensures effective practices and courses of action. This will lead to effective decision making whereby every member has a role to play. In this case, action research will challenge the traditional methods of practices through moving above reflective knowledge that is developed by external experts. The external experts have the capability of sampling variables, collecting data and developing an inquiry that occurs in the middle of an emergent structure (Friedman, Razer & Sykes, 2004).

Bushe and Kassam (2005) defined the act of organizational development as an organizational improvement that is enhanced by action research and inquiry. They believed that the motivation to enable change to take place would be strongly dependent on actions. In this case, active individuals in decision making are most likely to be able to adopt changes. Most importantly, rational social management tends to move forward in the form of spiral steps. Every step is usually comprised of planning circles, actions as well as fact-finding efforts of the outcome. Coghlan (2009) carried out research on clinical inquiry and the way action research plays a role in reaching into immediate solutions in hospital settings that are most likely to affect the community. The cycle towards change begins with a series of actions of planning that are driven by a client along with an agent of change. They work together and the principal elements at the level include data collection, joint action and preliminary diagnosis along with feedback of outcomes. The second phase involving action research engages in transformation and change. The stage includes several actions that relate to learning processes along with planning and executing changes of behavior in the organization of clients. This stage also involves action planning that is usually carried out in a joint way through the consultancy of members in the client system. The third stage in the process involves the results or the outcomes phase. The phase includes the changes of behaviors that emerge from corrective measures that are carried out from the second phase. In this case, action research will lead to transformational and effective change in the organization. This will start with the CEO who is likely to understand the importance of the new changes. Bushe and Kassam (2005) were involved in formulating transformational ways of developing positive changes in an organization. In other words, it would be effective to formulate ways to carry out action research in the organization in order to address the issue of leadership style.

In conclusion, it should be noted that many studies have been carried out in attempts to address issues in organizations and communities. Many authors have mentioned the concept of action research as a way of immediate solutions for issues in an organization. In this case, the workplace problem has been difficulties in dealing with the CEO since he acts as a royal prince and the owner of the company thus making it hard for people to debate and contribute to the decision making processes of the organization. Human inquiries can be done through collaboration, cooperation, action and self-reflection and this will play a role in settling conflicts and bring effective changes in most organizations (Behling & McFillen, 1996). In this case, The CEO should attempt to reach other members of the organization and define an effective leadership style of transformation that everyone is comfortable with. At the organizational level, the action research will contribute to enhancing a better understanding of process interactions in order to define the social setting. The authors analyzed in this paper have played a role in describing action research in one way or another and this has emerged as one of the best methods of dealing with organizational issues and most certainly those dealing with changes in an organization. It is crucial to understand different forms of human inquiry in order to carry out effective actions.

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