Rhetoric and practice in action research

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Piggot-Irvine, Eileen
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
problem resolving action research model
action research
management development
Piggot-Irvine, E. (2002). Rhetoric and practice in action research. Proceedings of the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference. Retrieved from http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00002471.htm
This paper begins with a description of the elements of a Problem Resolving Action Research Model (PRAR) that I have developed (Piggot-Irvine, 2001) for working with groups in management development. The model has many features in common with other approaches to action research. It also has characterising features and these are given specific attention. The next part of the paper provides a brief overview of one example of an action research project that adopted the PRAR model. It involved five middle managers (all appraisers) in a New Zealand secondary school participating in a year-long intervention to improve the way that they established an "educative" process with appraisees. The third part of the paper draws upon the findings from the observation of this project to demonstrate factors that both limited and contributed to the implementation of the PRAR model. Limitations include low ownership, reduced collaboration and restricted time. Factors contributing to the PRAR model implementation include data-based reflection, consciousness-raising associated with exposure of the espousal-practice gap in change implementation, the employment of mutually informing theory and practice, narrowing the theory-practice gap, providing extended support and the opportunity to repeat learning.
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Eileen Piggot-Irvine
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