Action Research in Universities

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Action Research in Universities
Jeketule Jacob Soko, Management Consultant, Kenya

I want to do a PhD in action research and sustainable competitive advantage.. My possible title is action research as an intangible asset for sustainable competitive advantage in catholic institutes of higher learning of Kenya. My assumption is that action research is very important and if embraced, organizations should improve. This is organizational learning and a step towards Kaizen. However, I am also confused whether this can really be researched on.
Do you have any tips or experiences? Thanks--

Phd in Action Research
Amos, Director, Kenya
It would be interesting to see how you develop your problem statement on this and your conceptual framework. I believe that it is only when your concept is evaluated that the question of researchability can be addressed.

Phd in Action Research Concepts
Jeketule Jacob Soko, Management Consultant, Kenya
@Amos: thanks for the comment. I will use the variables of action research: planning, acting, reflecting & collaboration as independent variables per se and dependent being performance: efficiency effectiveness. I will then link this with the VRIO framework for competitive advantage.

Action Research Phd Response
Amos, Director, Kenya
@Jeketule Soko: great. What is the concrete knowledge gap in your proposed study that you wish to fill in? In very unromantic terms ask yourself: if you were to sell your idea to a mean investor with a proposed budget, would (s)he consider it worthwhile to invest in it... And to what degree?
Justify the research both theoretically and test its practical viability. The theme sounds promising, to me.
But craft it to prove that the outcome will be worth the effort in the academia and the practitioner field. What do others think?

Response to a Research
NKANTA, Student (University), Nigeria
Amos, the topic will become an interesting one if you can deny yourself some luxury to research on it. I will suggest your researching on it and also, consult authorities that may be of help. Regards.

PhD in Action Research
Arnold Collado, Professor, Philippines
Dear Mr. Soco, I don't think your concept is researchable, because you are just interested as to whether or not the members of the organization want to embrace or implement methods of action research.
Maybe it would be better to come up with one action research, identifying the problems, and coming up with a program or policy to be implemented, after which you will assess and evaluate the results of this program or policy.
This is the essence of action research. PDCA. You Plan, you Do, you Check and then you Act.

Contribution of Action Research to Performance
Jeketule Jacob Soko, Management Consultant, Kenya
@Arnold Collado : Thanks for your comment. My supervisors have advised me to look at action research in this form. Action research, organizational performance and competitive advantage of education firms in institutions of higher learning.
This means that I will focus on the contribution of action research to organizational performance not doing actual action research. Thanks for your thought though.

Action Research
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States
The whole thrust of the US Army Ranger School is to install a uniform process of action research in the individual participants. You learn to do it in your sleep. If it isn't researchable, it probably isn't action research.

Action Research is the Fundamental Tool of Military Planning
Tom Wilson, HR Consultant, United States
@Arnold Collado: As far as I know, Kurt Lewin coined the phrase "action research". Among other things, he was an infantry combat leader. His model is essential the same process of operational planning taught at the US Army Command and General Staff College. See my essay on the Entrepreneur with my profile.The essential format for military action planning is the 5 Paragraph Field Order, which has essentially the same format as the Lord's Prayer, both of which can be summarize as Think Globally, Mission, Act Locally. There are two types of Mission: Instrumental and Operational. The instrumental mission defines the structures of the organization, The operational mission defines the focus of the action research. Gordon Sullivan's Hope is not a method emerges directly from this action research model.

Size and Industry Matter for Action Research
Eyal Policar, Entrepreneur, Israel
Jeketule, I believe action research is size and industry sensitive:
- It is not for small businesses since they work more on a mental model of change "only if I must".
- And it doesn't pertain to every industry, especially where there are thousands of small producers with no in house R&D like agriculture. Simply because action research is a thoughtfully thought out process, of research and development for the benefit of the organisation that can not be easily copied.
I like Saunder's take on Action research.
Four common themes
1. The first focuses upon and emphasizes the purpose of the research: Research in action rather than research about action (Coghlan and Brannick 2005)
2. A collaborative democratic partnership between practitioners and researcher
3. The iterative nature of the process of diagnosing, planning, taking action and evaluating
4. Action research should have implications beyond the immediate project (Saunders M., Lewis P., Thornhill A. (2009). ôResearch Methods for Business Students".


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