Action Research / Edition 3

Action Research / Edition 3

by Ernest T. Stringer
Pub. Date:
SAGE Publications
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Action Research / Edition 3

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.

New to the Third Edition: Gives an extensive review of the growing literature on action research: Stringer broadens the scope of the book by including the literature and theoretical movements that have come to light since the Second Edition. Offers a thorough overview of the fundamentals of action research: The author provides a great deal of context on action research in the early chapters as well as a new section on its theoretical foundations. Presents the latest coverage of conducting literature reviews: Stringer updates the discussion on literature review and moves it into a separate chapter. Provides updated appendices and Web links: These resources give cutting-edge information on action research. Prepares readers for undertaking action research projects: A new section at the end of each chapter called "Reflection and Practice" offers exercises that provide guidance for the direct application of qualitative research to applied research.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412952231
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 03/27/2007
Series: Action Research Series
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   Egon G. Guba     xi
Preface     xv
Research in Professional and Public Life     1
The Purposes and Applications of Action Research: Who Does Action Research, and Why Do They Do It?     1
Research: Methodical Processes of Inquiry     4
A Basic Routine     7
Community-Based Action Research: Participatory Approaches to Inquiry     10
Inquiry in Use     12
The Literature on Action Research     15
Theory and Principles of Action Research     19
Introducing the Theoretical Foundations of Action Research     19
The Cultural Style of Action Research: Capacity-Building Processes     20
The Role of the Researcher     24
Working Principles     27
Relationships     28
Communication     30
Participation     32
Inclusion     34
Setting the Stage: Planning a Research Process     39
Designing Effective Research     39
Seeking Consensus: Constructing Meaningful Research     41
Looking at the Lay of the Land: Preliminary Activity     42
Establishing Contact     42
Sampling: Identifying Stakeholding Groups     43
Sampling: Identifying Key People     45
Establishing a Role     47
Agenda     48
Stance     48
Position     48
Constructing a Preliminary Picture     51
The Ethics of Action Research     54
Rigor (Not Mortis): The Research Is Alive and Well     57
Credibility     57
Transferability     59
Dependability     59
Confirmability     59
Sociable Research Processes     60
Conclusion     61
Look: Building the Picture     65
Gaining Insight: Gathering Data     65
Sources of Information     67
Interviews: Guided Reflection     69
Questions     70
Field Notes     72
Tape Recorders     73
Focus Groups     73
Participant Observation     75
Documents, Records, and Reports     77
Surveys     78
Reviewing the Literature: Evidence From Research Studies     80
Gathering Statistical Information-How Many?     82
Extended Understanding: Descriptive Analysis     83
Working Ethnographically-Collaborative Descriptive Accounts      84
Six Questions-Why, What, How, Who, Where, When     84
Community Profile     85
Meetings: Group Processes for Collaborative Inquiry     87
Preliminary Meetings     87
Organizing Meetings     88
Think: Interpreting and Analyzing     95
Interpretation: Interpreting Key Concepts     95
Analysis and Interpretation I: Distilling the Data     98
Categorizing and Coding (1)     98
Analyzing Key Experiences (2)     103
Case Example: Facilitating Workshops     104
Analysis and Interpretation II: Enriching the Analysis     106
Extending Understanding: Frameworks for Interpretation     107
Interpretive Questions-Why, What, How, Who, Where, When     108
Organizational Review     110
Concept Mapping     112
Problem Analysis-Antecedents and Consequences     114
Writing Reports Collaboratively     115
Organizing Meetings     116
Procedures for Analysis     117
Presentations and Performances     120
Conclusion     122
Act: Resolving Problems-Planning and Implementing Sustainable Solutions     125
From Problems to Solutions      125
Planning     127
Identifying Priorities for Action     127
Action Plans     128
Quality Check     132
Implementing     133
Supporting     134
Modeling     137
Linking     138
Reviewing     140
Evaluating     140
Conclusion     142
Strategic Planning for Sustainable Change and Development     145
Managing Processes of Change and Development     147
Strategic Planning     149
A Unifying Vision     149
Operational Statements: Enacting the Vision     151
Action Plans     153
Reviewing the Plans     153
Political Dimensions     154
Financial Planning     155
Guiding the Research Process     158
Principles in Operation     158
Appropriate Language     158
Making Decisions     159
Support and Monitoring     160
Evaluating     161
Steps to Evaluation     161
Celebrating     164
Formal Reports     169
The Research Orientation: Assumptions of Interpretive Research      170
Reports, Theses, and Dissertations     171
Structure of a Report     174
Introduction-Focus and Framing     175
Review of the Literature     175
Methodology     176
Introduction     176
Methodological Assumptions: Philosophical Rationale     176
Research Methods     177
Rigor     179
Limitations     179
Ethical Issues     179
Research Outcomes/Findings     179
Setting the Scene: Describing the Context     180
Constructing Accounts: Telling People's Stories     181
Constructing a General Account     182
Conclusion-Discussion of Findings     182
Giving Voice: Alternative Report Structures     183
Understanding Action Research     187
The Place of Theory in Action Research     187
The Theory Behind the Practice     189
"But It's Not Scientific": The Question of Legitimacy     191
Power, Control, and Subordination     194
Understanding Power and Control: Postmodern Perspectives     197
The Next Generation: Community-Based Action Research     203
Giving Voice: Representing People's Experience     206
Changing Our Work and Social Practices: "Scripts" for Policies, Plans, Procedures, and Behavior     208
In the Company of Friends     213
Case Examples of Formal Reports     217
Action Research Web Sites     249
References     259
Index     265
About the Author     279

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