Action Research in a Relational Perspective: Dialogue, Reflexivity, Power and Ethics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Action Research in a Relational Perspective

Dialogue, Reflexivity, Power and Ethics, 1st Edition

Edited by Lone Hersted, Ottar Ness, Søren Frimann


208 pages

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pub: 2019-07-04
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Action Research in a Relational Perspective brings together an expert international academic team to present theoretical perspectives on social constructionist understandings of action research, as well as illustrative examples of action research practices within a wide range of sectors such as organizational learning, leadership development, education, mental health and health care.

Building bridges between theory and practice, this book explores themes of dialogue, relationships, tensions, power and ethics in action research projects. It examines both the great potential, and the challenges and dilemmas, of action research. It aims to inspire readers with ideas and a practical "how-to" understanding of doing action research from a social constructionist standpoint.

Action Research in a Relational Perspective will appeal to theoreticians and practitioners, senior researchers and PhD students, students, consultants, educators and managers who are interested in action research as an approach to organizational learning, team development, learning among professionals and citizens, or community development.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Contributors

Foreword by Kenneth J. Gergen

Part I: Action research and social constructionism

Chapter 1: Action Research: Tradition and Renewal

Lone Hersted, Ottar Ness and Søren Frimann

Chapter 2: Action Research as Ethical Practice: Coordinating Voices, Expanding Possibilities

Sheila McNamee

Chapter 3: Action Research in the Perspective of Becoming: The Significance of Reflexive Dialogue

Søren Frimann, Lone Hersted and Anne Søbye

Part II: Action research: Reflexive dialogues for change

Chapter 4: Social Poetics in Action Research by Mette Vinther Larsen and Charlotte Øland Madsen

Chapter 5: Leadership Development and Organizational Learning through Dialogical Process

Lone Hersted and Søren Frimann

Chapter 6: Learning New Ideas and Practices Together through Relational Action Research

Ottar Ness

Chapter 7: Developing Leadership through Action Research with Roleplaying

Lone Hersted

Part III: Emotions and tensions in action research

Chapter 8: Emotions as Inspiration for Reflexivity in Action Research

Ann L. Cunliffe, Mara Gorli, Silvia Ivaldi and Giuseppe Scaratti

Chapter 9: Inclusion and exclusion in action research on person-centered health care: A framework for cultivating the tensions in dialogue

Louise Phillips and Michael Scheffmann-Petersen

Chapter 10: Tensional Dialogues in Social Constructionist Collaborative Knowledge Production

Birgitte Ravn Olesen


Lone Hersted and Ottar Ness


About the Editors

Lone Hersted, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Department of Learning and Philosophy at Aalborg University, Denmark. Her teaching and research are concerned with leadership development, organizational learning, action research, action learning, coaching, innovative and creative change processes and dialogue training through roleplaying. At Aalborg University, Lone is a coordinator, lecturer and supervisor on the MA program entitled Master’s in Organizational Coaching and Learning (MOC). She is trained and certified as a systemic coach at Attractor, DK, and has obtained a Certificate Degree in Systemic Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Bedfordshire in collaboration with KCC, UK, and MacMann Berg, DK. In addition to her academic work, Lone has worked as a consultant since 2003 where she has been contributing to organizational learning processes through coaching, supervision, workshops and lectures. Furthermore, she has more than ten years’ professional work experience in performance theater.

Ottar Ness, PhD, family therapist, is Professor of Counseling at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Professor of Mental Health Care at University College of South-Eastern Norway and Nord University, Norway. He has considerable experience of doing action research projects from a social constructionist action-oriented stance within the fields of family therapy, recovery, mental health and substance abuse. His research is in the area of relational welfare in order to co-construct and co-create dignifying lives and communities. He also works with research recovery processes and recovery-oriented practices and services with people with mental health and substance abuse problems. Among his latest books is a handbook of couples therapy, handbook of family therapy and action research.

Søren Frimann, PhD, is Associate Professor at the Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark. He is the leader of a research group on organizational learning and leadership development with the name POLO (Processes of Learning in Organizations). He runs the Danish Action Research Network together with colleagues in Denmark. The network organizes action research conferences, national seminars and publishes books/articles in the area of action research. He is involved in several action research projects in organizations. Currently, he is engaged in a research and development project with the aim of developing leadership in practice in 38 Danish vocational schools. His research areas are within action research, learning in organizations, leadership development, coaching, dialogue and communication.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Research Methods

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General