Action Research

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-03-22
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc
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Thoroughly revised and updated, the Third Edition of Action Research is a succinct and readable text that provides clear direction to those involved in professional, organizational, and community research. A best seller in previous editions, this text provides a simple but highly effective model for conducting action research-Look, Think, and Act. Author Ernest T. Stringer presents detailed step-by-step procedures for engaging in effective and productive processes of inquiry.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Research in Professional and Public Lifep. 1
The Purposes and Applications of Action Research: Who Does Action Research, and Why Do They Do It?p. 1
Research: Methodical Processes of Inquiryp. 4
A Basic Routinep. 7
Community-Based Action Research: Participatory Approaches to Inquiryp. 10
Inquiry in Usep. 12
The Literature on Action Researchp. 15
Theory and Principles of Action Researchp. 19
Introducing the Theoretical Foundations of Action Researchp. 19
The Cultural Style of Action Research: Capacity-Building Processesp. 20
The Role of the Researcherp. 24
Working Principlesp. 27
Relationshipsp. 28
Communicationp. 30
Participationp. 32
Inclusionp. 34
Setting the Stage: Planning a Research Processp. 39
Designing Effective Researchp. 39
Seeking Consensus: Constructing Meaningful Researchp. 41
Looking at the Lay of the Land: Preliminary Activityp. 42
Establishing Contactp. 42
Sampling: Identifying Stakeholding Groupsp. 43
Sampling: Identifying Key Peoplep. 45
Establishing a Rolep. 47
Agendap. 48
Stancep. 48
Positionp. 48
Constructing a Preliminary Picturep. 51
The Ethics of Action Researchp. 54
Rigor (Not Mortis): The Research Is Alive and Wellp. 57
Credibilityp. 57
Transferabilityp. 59
Dependabilityp. 59
Confirmabilityp. 59
Sociable Research Processesp. 60
Conclusionp. 61
Look: Building the Picturep. 65
Gaining Insight: Gathering Datap. 65
Sources of Informationp. 67
Interviews: Guided Reflectionp. 69
Questionsp. 70
Field Notesp. 72
Tape Recordersp. 73
Focus Groupsp. 73
Participant Observationp. 75
Documents, Records, and Reportsp. 77
Surveysp. 78
Reviewing the Literature: Evidence From Research Studiesp. 80
Gathering Statistical Information-How Many?p. 82
Extended Understanding: Descriptive Analysisp. 83
Working Ethnographically-Collaborative Descriptive Accountsp. 84
Six Questions-Why, What, How, Who, Where, Whenp. 84
Community Profilep. 85
Meetings: Group Processes for Collaborative Inquiryp. 87
Preliminary Meetingsp. 87
Organizing Meetingsp. 88
Think: Interpreting and Analyzingp. 95
Interpretation: Interpreting Key Conceptsp. 95
Analysis and Interpretation I: Distilling the Datap. 98
Categorizing and Coding (1)p. 98
Analyzing Key Experiences (2)p. 103
Case Example: Facilitating Workshopsp. 104
Analysis and Interpretation II: Enriching the Analysisp. 106
Extending Understanding: Frameworks for Interpretationp. 107
Interpretive Questions-Why, What, How, Who, Where, Whenp. 108
Organizational Reviewp. 110
Concept Mappingp. 112
Problem Analysis-Antecedents and Consequencesp. 114
Writing Reports Collaborativelyp. 115
Organizing Meetingsp. 116
Procedures for Analysisp. 117
Presentations and Performancesp. 120
Conclusionp. 122
Act: Resolving Problems-Planning and Implementing Sustainable Solutionsp. 125
From Problems to Solutionsp. 125
Planningp. 127
Identifying Priorities for Actionp. 127
Action Plansp. 128
Quality Checkp. 132
Implementingp. 133
Supportingp. 134
Modelingp. 137
Linkingp. 138
Reviewingp. 140
Evaluatingp. 140
Conclusionp. 142
Strategic Planning for Sustainable Change and Developmentp. 145
Managing Processes of Change and Developmentp. 147
Strategic Planningp. 149
A Unifying Visionp. 149
Operational Statements: Enacting the Visionp. 151
Action Plansp. 153
Reviewing the Plansp. 153
Political Dimensionsp. 154
Financial Planningp. 155
Guiding the Research Processp. 158
Principles in Operationp. 158
Appropriate Languagep. 158
Making Decisionsp. 159
Support and Monitoringp. 160
Evaluatingp. 161
Steps to Evaluationp. 161
Celebratingp. 164
Formal Reportsp. 169
The Research Orientation: Assumptions of Interpretive Researchp. 170
Reports, Theses, and Dissertationsp. 171
Structure of a Reportp. 174
Introduction-Focus and Framingp. 175
Review of the Literaturep. 175
Methodologyp. 176
Introductionp. 176
Methodological Assumptions: Philosophical Rationalep. 176
Research Methodsp. 177
Rigorp. 179
Limitationsp. 179
Ethical Issuesp. 179
Research Outcomes/Findingsp. 179
Setting the Scene: Describing the Contextp. 180
Constructing Accounts: Telling People's Storiesp. 181
Constructing a General Accountp. 182
Conclusion-Discussion of Findingsp. 182
Giving Voice: Alternative Report Structuresp. 183
Understanding Action Researchp. 187
The Place of Theory in Action Researchp. 187
The Theory Behind the Practicep. 189
"But It's Not Scientific": The Question of Legitimacyp. 191
Power, Control, and Subordinationp. 194
Understanding Power and Control: Postmodern Perspectivesp. 197
The Next Generation: Community-Based Action Researchp. 203
Giving Voice: Representing People's Experiencep. 206
Changing Our Work and Social Practices: "Scripts" for Policies, Plans, Procedures, and Behaviorp. 208
In the Company of Friendsp. 213
Case Examples of Formal Reportsp. 217
Action Research Web Sitesp. 249
Referencesp. 259
Indexp. 265
About the Authorp. 279
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