Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice

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Peter Reason, Hilary Bradbury
SAGE Publications, Feb 6, 2001 - Social Science - 468 pages
`This is an excellent book for helping professionals and students on undergraduate and postgraduate research courses. It is an essential purchase for understanding the inter-relationship between the `thinkers′ and `doers′ engaged in investigating and understanding the society in which researchers live′ - European Journal of Social Work

`A remarkable reframing of action research that engages the spirit as well as the mind, in inquiry that matters, shared among inquirers who matter. "Validity" as we once knew it will never be the same after these improvements. Wonderfully provocative!′ - Karl Weick, University of Michigan

`This is truly a significant work. Not only has action research reached maturity, but in the context of the postmodern constructionist debates its scope has been dramatically expanded, its conceptual underpinnings deepened, and its forms of practice enormously enriched. The present confluence of humanism and pragmatism has inspired lively conversations between us; the work has the potential to transform the very idea of social science′ - Kenneth J Gergen, author of An Invitation to Social Construction and Mary Gergen, author of Feminist Reconstructions in Psychology

`A wholly new kind of human inquiry is emerging. It is to do with taking our own, previously ignored, spontaneously responsive, living involvements with our surroundings seriously. Rather than with views and perspectives, rather than with a one-way manipulative understanding, gained by merely observing movements from a distance, it is concerned with quite a different kind of participatory, experiential understanding - the kind of understanding we have when playing a part in an activity which also to an extent `plays′ us. Workers are beginning to bring to light the many different knowledges present to us in the different practical ways in which we can be relationally involved with the others and othernesses around us. Everything changes when we get up close and personal. All that is solid melts into air! In this exciting Handbook, Reason and Bradbury have collected together a large number of the central workers in this new and developing sphere of participative inquiry. Overall, in the detailed explorations they conduct, just as in becoming familiar with a new and strange landscape, they help us get to know our `way about′ in its rich and intricate `landscape′. Literally, this is a landmark volume′ - John Shotter, University of New Hampshire

`The Handbook of Action Research is truly a remarkable book. We are greatly indebted to the editors Peter Reason and Hilary Bradbury, who managed to avoid the usual tower of Babel, and succeeded to forge and orchestrate the somewhat incoherent mosaic of action research, with its many voices, into an intelligent comprehensive and logical whole. This handbook provides a much needed clarification of a critical transition in the social sciences′ - Hans van Beinum, General Editor of Concepts and Transformation, International Journal of Action Research and Organizational Renewal.

′A valuable resource for both researchers and for research methods courses′ - Dr Ruth Northway, Nurse Researcher

The publication of the Handbook of Action Research is a publishing milestone, drawing together the different strands of action research, demonstrating their diverse applications and showing their interrelations.

Far-reaching in scale and scope, the Handbook informs readers about the latest approaches, both quantitative and qualitative, in social inquiry, and moves the field forward with fresh insights and applications. Throughout, the contributing authors grapple with questions of how to integrate knowledge with action, how to collaborate with co-researchers in the field, and how to present the necessarily ′messy′ components in a coherent fashion. The organization of the volume reflects the many different issues and levels of analysis represented.

This volume is an essential resource for scholars and professionals engaged in social and political inquiry, organizational research and education.

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Inquiry and Participation in Search of a World Worthy
the Mediating Discourse

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About the author (2001)

Hilary Bradbury, Ph.D.,is Director of Sustainable Business Programs at University of Southern California Center for Sustainable Cities, www.sustainablecities.edu. She brings her expertise in action research to work with businesses on issues of sustainability. Prior to this she was Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University| Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio. She has published widely in journals includingOrganization ScienceandAcademy of Management Executive. She is editor ofAction Researchand co-editor with Peter Reason of the bestsellingHandbook of Action Research (Sage, 2001, 2006, 2008). Hilary is multi lingual, having grown up in Ireland and having worked in Germany, Switzerland and Japan. She lives in LA with her family. The project that takes most of her time now is SEER (Sustainable Enterprise Executive Roundtable). SEER enables collaborative learning among Southern California business leaders so that more sustainable practices result, benefiting the environment and the bottom line, through projects that promote sustainable development.SEER is committed to developing actionable knowledge and measurable positive impact.www.seer.net.Also see:www.Bradbury-Huang.net.

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