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Knowledge Creation - Insider and Action Research

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Task #1

Using Coghlan (2001) and Brannick and Coghlan (2007), explore the potential challenges and opportunities that conducting action research in your workplace is likely to raise for you.

According to Coghlan (2008), action research faces several challenges. One of these challenges includes individual learning and change may not be generalised easily across interdepartmental groups. In addition, if an individual is disaffected, he may cause the team to have a dysfunctional behaviour affecting its overall performance. These factors may cause challenges in my workplace while I do action research. However, Coglan (2008) states that action research has many opportunities since it can help managers to develop their skills contributing to personal learning. Brannic and Coghlan (2007) claim that conducting action research has many opportunities since it helps members of the system being studied to participate in the research. The researcher is thus able to generate more knowledge on the area of research. Brannic and Coglan also add that action research id important since it helps organizations to develop theoretical understanding on why organizations change. However, they state that action research faces challenges because people fell that it does not conform to the standards of intellectual rigor. Considering this, members of my team may not support action research.

Task #2

Use the articles by Greenwood, Whyte and Harkavy (1993) and Cassell and Johnson (2006) to present your thoughts on the type of action research that you plan to carry out in your organization.

The type of action research that I plan to carry out is participatory action research. According to Cassel and Johnson (2006), participatory action research relates with organizational setting and a researcher plays a consultancy role to the corporation under research. Greenwood, Whyte and Harkavy (1993) argue that participatory action research focuses on participation, co-learning and organizational transformation. They gave several features of this type of research. These features include collaboration, incorporation of local knowledge, eclecticism and diversity, case orientation and emergent process. Another feature of participatory action research is that it links scientific understanding to social action. Participatory action research is effective since it is able to generate new ideas during the process of research. In addition to this, it values the contribution of local members of an organization since it views members of an organization as intelligent and knowledgeable.

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Task #3

Think about the purposes of action research as a means of workplace-based problem solving and a way of contributing to knowledge; are these complementary or contradictory?

Action research as a means of workplace problem solving is complementary to contributing to knowledge creation. In action research, the members under study are actively involved in the research process as they sometimes design the approach to be adopted during the research process (Coghlan, 2007). It also uses collaborative, cooperative and participative forms of organizational inquiry during the research process. This ensures that the members of an organization generate critical information that helps in the process of problem solving. Due to this, the research process generates credible and reliable knowledge. This knowledge can be used by other organizations if they face a similar problem that was addressed by a particular action research. As a result, action research as a means of workplace-based problem solving acts as a way of knowledge creation.

Task #4

How will these ideas inform your approach to research and your approach workplace-based problem solving in the future?

The ideas from action research will inform my research in several ways. I will always concentrate on involving the participants under study since participatory research helps in generating more knowledge. In addition, I will be encouraging diversity by encouraging methods, theories and information from different participants of the research. It will help in ensuring that bias is eliminated from the research process. Knowledge generated from the research will be reliable. Moreover, I will be focusing on case orientation by building the theories and methods of research from case oriented activities. I will also consider the impacts of organizational politics while addressing the problem of knowledge hoarding. According to Brannic and Coglan (2007), it is important for researchers to maintain their credibility as drivers of change and as political players while solving work-based problems. This is because organization politics help in ensuring a balance in organization’s formal justifications with the researcher’s personal justifications for particular political activity.

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