navbar 4Resource papers in action research

Recent books on action research and
related topics


This is a resource file which supports the regular public program “areol” (action research and evaluation on line) offered twice a year beginning in mid-February and mid-July.  For details email Bob Dick  or

Thank you to those people who have already contributed entries for this file.  Further suggestions, abstracts and reviews are welcomed.

 (For a bibliography of books published prior to 1994 click here)


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Abraham, Selva (1994) Board management training for indigenous community leaders using action research: the Kuju CDEP learning experience.  Port Lincoln, South Australia: Port Lincoln Kuju CDEP Inc.

Abraham, Selva (1994) Exploratory action research for manager development.  Brisbane: ALARPM Inc and Gibaran Management Consultants Pty Ltd.  [Alarpm, PO Box 6576, Upper Mt Gravatt 4122, Australia]

Adler, Niclas B.; Shani, A.B. (Rami); and Styhre, Alexander, eds. (2004)  Collaborative research in organizations: foundations for learning, change, and theoretical development.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
     Sponsored by a consortium of companies and other organizations, the book contains four parts addressing in turn the challenges faced by modern organizations, possible collaborative responses, case studies, and a final summary. Each of Parts 1 to 3 is followed by two commentaries, one by an academic and the other by an executive. Most of the chapters in the book display this same attention to theory and practice.

Altrichter, Herbert, Posch, Peter, and Somekh, Bridget (1993) Teachers investigate their work: an introduction to the methods of action research. London: Routledge.

Alvesson, Mats, and Deetz, Stanley (2000) Doing critical management research. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.

Alvesson, Mats, and Sköldberg, Kaj (2000) Reflexive methodology: new vistas for qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
     In this exciting book, the authors explore the relationship between research techniques and various research traditions. They discuss several major traditions in detail, providing the reader with a better understanding of the theoretical underpinnings. As a consequence it will be easier to design creative research approaches less constrained by custom. Traditions covered include grounded theory, ethnography, hermeneutics, critical theory, postmodernism, discourse analysis, and feminism.

Anderson, Linda Ackerman., and Anderson, Dean W. (2001) Beyond change management: advanced strategies for today's transformational leaders. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
     Highly regarded by those in the field, this book on change management provides a very process oriented focus on organisation development, transformation and leadership through personal transformation.

Angwin, Jenny (1998)  The essence of action research.  Geelong: Deakin Centre for Education and Change, Deakin University.
      Papers on action research by John Wilson, Beverley Campbell, Jennifer Angwin, Stephen Kemmis, Robin McTaggart, Yoland Wadsworth, Christine Riddell and Jill Sanguinetti

Argyris, Chris (1999) On organizational learning, second edition.  Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
      Argyris has been writing about organisational learning, and the systemic obstacles to it, for over twenty years.  This revision of an earlier book updates his thinking about the topic, and about the research and intervention methodology he calls action science.

Argyris, Chris (2000)  Flawed advice and the management trap: how managers can know when they're getting good advice and when they're not.  Oxford University Press.
      A reworking of the concepts of Argyris' previous work, applied to provide a challenging critique of most current management theory and advice.

Argyris, Chris (2004)  Reasons and rationalizations: the limits to organizational knowledge.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
     Chris Argyris's pursuit of double loop learning and its attainment in practice continues with this book. He returns to a theme of much of his earlier writing, the inadequacy of much social research. Now he draws on the insights which seem to have come from his collaboration with Don Schšn. He uses the same forms of argument and evidence with which he has already challenged organizations and consultants, this time with social researchers as his target. In this tightly argued and sometimes terse book he claims that social researchers (like everyone else) show skilled incompetence in the way they avoid practising what they preach. Applying this model to academics he makes a strong claim for the importance of 'implementable validity' as an important but often ignored research goal.

Argyris, Chris, and Schön, Donald A.  (1996) Organisational learning II: theory, method and practice.  Reading: Addison-Wesley.
      Integrates much of the material that has come from the pens of Argyris and Schon, separately and together, over several decades.

Arhar, Joanne; Holly, Mary Louise; and Kasten, Wendy C.  (2000)  Action research for teachers : traveling the yellow brick road.  Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice-Hall.
      A practical and readable introduction to action research for teachers, with a strong emphasis on classroom applications, and within the tradition of critical action research.

Armstrong, Felicity, and Moore, Michele, eds. (2004)  Action research for inclusive education: changing places, changing practices, changing minds.  London: RoutledgeFalmer.
     Participative aspects of action research are given much attention.  The fluidity and responsiveness of action research are well acknowledged.

Atweh, Bill, Kemmis, Stephen, and Weeks, Patricia, eds.  (1998) Action research in practice: partnerships for social justice in education.  London: Routledge.
      Papers mostly arising out of an action research project (PARAPET) at the Queensland University of Technology.

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Banister, Peter, Burman, Erica, Parker, Ian, Taylor, Maye, and Tindall, Carol (1994) Qualitative methods in psychology: a research guide.  Buckingham, England: Open University Press.
      This book addresses some issues which action researchers also face in some settings.

Banks, C.  Kenneth, and Mangan, J.  Marshall (1999) The Company of Neighbours: revitalizing community through action-research.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
      “The Company of Neighbours” is an action research project for community development in Hespeler, Ontario.  At a time when governments in the developed world are cutting back welfare systems, this vigorously-collaborative and involving approach to community action research is timely and useful.

Barbour, Rosaline S., and Kitzinger, Jenny, eds.  (1999) Developing focus group research: politics, theory and practice.  London: Sage.
      A good mix of theory and practice in this examination of focus groups as serious research tools beyond their usual use in market research.  Some of the 13 contributed chapters address the use of focus groups with different participant groups and for different research topics.  Others address the principles or underlying philosophy of focus group research.

Barnett, Liz, and Abbatt, Fred (1994) District action research and education: a resource book for problem-solving in health systems, 2nd edition.  London: Macmillan. 

Batehup, Lynn, ed.  (1999)  Facilitating change in nursing practice: studies in action research.  Churchill Livingstone.

Beebe, James (2001) Rapid appraisal process: an introduction. Walnut Creek, Ca.: Altamira Press.
     Rapid Assessment Process is one of a number of action-research-like processes used particularly in rural settings. This is a detailed and practical introduction, illustrated with case studies, which will help researchers conduct research in a variety of settings using RAP

Beer, Michael, and Nohria, Nitin, eds. (2000)  Breaking the code of change.  Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.
     Based on a conference attended by some of the leading figures in organisational change, this book addresses a series of important questions.  Each of the seven sections in the book is set up as a debate, with authors allocated to one side or the other of the argument. A final chapter by a third author provides a commentary on the previous two.  The questions (and major sections) are as follows.  Economic value or organisational capability?  [Balanced scorecard or single measure?]  Directed from the top or high-involvement and participative?  Formal structure and systems or culture?  Planned or emergent?  Do financial incentives lead, or do they lag and support?  Large and knowledge-driven or small and process-driven?  Normal science or action science?  The last of these presents two contrasting positions about research from Andrew Van de Ven and Chris Argyris, and something of an integration from Michael Beer.

Beinum, Hans van, ed.  (2000)  Ideas and practices in action research:  an institutional journey.  Amsterdam: Benjamins.
      [Publisher's description:]  For more than ten years the Centre for Working Life Research and Development (CAU) of Halmstad University has combined and integrated education and development research.  Its hallmark is to be interactive with the public and private sectors and to jointly address their questions and problems.  Recognising the mutuality of research and development, the urgent need for organisational innovation and renewal as well as the ethical and practical importance of participation, constitute the distinctive competence of CAU.  This volume provides illustrations of the practice of action research as well as conceptual and theoretical reflections.

Bell, Gordon H., ed., with Stakes, Richard, and Taylor, Geoff (1994) Action research, special needs and school development.  London: David Fulton.
      A collection of chapters applying action research to the improvement of special education.

Bellman, Loretta (2003)  Nurse led change and development in clinical practice.  London: Whurr Publishers.
     Here, critical action research is the chosen vehicle for improving clinical nursing practice. Loretta Bellman's style is narrative, with thick description interleaved with verbatim records. There is a strong emphasis on direct involvement of the nurses and their 'patients', as Bellman calls them. Rigour is well attended to. There is careful triangulation of data. Theoretical and methodological literatures inform the study. Theory is used to challenge and be challenged by practice. The evolving nature of action research practice is well documented. The issue of power, often neglected, is given the attention its importance warrants. The result is to demonstrate that action research and evidence-based practice go well together.

Bennett, Nigel, Glatter, Rob, and Levacic, Rosalind, eds.  (1994) Improving educational management through research and consultancy.  Paul Chapman/Open University.

Bentz, Valerie Malhotra, and Shapiro, Jeremy J.  (1998) Mindful inquiry in social research.  Thousand Oaks: Sage.
      In this wide-ranging book the authors discuss the logical and philosophical underpinnings of ten different research traditions, including ethnography, phenomenology, action research, hermeneutics, evaluation research, feminist research, and critical social science.

Berg, Bruce Lawrence (2000)  Qualitative research methods for the social sciences, fourth edition.  Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
     With considerable breadth, this practical book covers a variety of qualitative techniques, including ethnography, historiography, action research, grounded theory, and case study.  It examines interviewing and focus groups.  It discusses such topics as ethics, content analysis, writing research papers.

Berge, Britt-Marie, and Ve, Hildur (2000) Action research for gender equity.  Buckingham: Open University Press.
      [ Publisher's description: ]  This book is about action research as a method for change and as a means of taking up feminist research in education.  Theoretically, it draws on feminist poststructural theories and discusses concerns with the normalizing and regulative aspects of dominant discourses.  The concepts 'moments of equity' and 'moments of normalization' are used to highlight the contradictory and complex action research process.  Empirically, it provides a story of an attempt to change the teaching practices of nine compulsory school teachers and their pupils in Sweden.  Key features include:  a new discussion of feminist theories, action research and the problem and possibilities of producing change in the classroom;  case-studies of female and male teachers and their participation in an extended attempt to change their own and their pupils' gendered practices;  a contribution to the debate on gender equity within postmodern society.

Black, Laurel, Daiker, Donald A., Sommers, Jeffrey, and Stygall, Gail (1994) New directions in portfolio assessment: reflective practice, critical theory, and large-scale scoring.  Portsmouth, NF: Heinemann.

Bloor, Michael; Frankland, Jane; Thomas, Michelle; and Robson, Kate (2001)  Focus groups in social research.  London: Sage.

Boog, Ben; Coenen, Harry; Keune, Lou; and Lammerts, Rob, eds.  (1996) Theory and practice of action research with special reference to the Netherlands.  Tilburg: Tilburg University Press.
      A publication of the Dutch AR Network, with emphasis on the highly emancipatory research done by members of this network

Boog, Ben; Coenen, Harry; Keune, Lou; and Lammerts, Rob, eds.  (1998) The complexity of relationships in action research.  Tilburg: Tilburg University Press.
      A publication of the Dutch Action Research Network, this collection of papers gives a view of the stimulating Dutch AR scene where new ground is being broken theoretically and practically.

Boog, Ben; Coenen, Harrie; and Keune, Lou, eds. (2001) Action research: empowerment and reflection. Oisterwijk, Netherlands: Dutch University Press.
     The Dutch Action Research Network carries out action research that in many respects lies within the mainstream AR tradition, but with an emphasis on power and relationship and mutuality which is thoughtful and carefully reasoned. This book continues that tradition, with some emphasis on the concept of "reciprocal adequation", which improves the quality of research within a process of mutual education.

Bray, John N.; Lee, Joyce; Smith, Linda L.; and Yorks, Lyle, eds. (2000) Collaborative inquiry in practice: action, reflection, and making meaning. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
     This thoroughly practical book takes the reader through the issues to be expected when setting up a collaborative inquiry group and embarking on a collaborative inquiry project. Viewing collaborative inquiry as a way of generating adult learning through research, it also touches on other participative and action-based methods of inquiry.

Brock, Karen, and McGee, Rosemary, eds. (2002)  Knowing poverty: critical reflections on participatory research and policy.  London: Earthscan.
     Participatory methods for poverty reduction are described. The lessons which the authors draw from their experience have wider application.

Brockbank, Anne, and McGill, Ian (1998) Facilitating reflective learning in higher education. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Brooks, Ann, and Watkins, Karen E., eds.  (1994) The emerging power of action inquiry technologies.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
      This slim and readable volume contains papers on a number of related approaches to action research, in a variety of settings.  The emphasis is on learning, gained through systematic and critical inquiry and reflection

Brown, Andrew, and Dowling, Paul (1998) Doing research/reading research: a mode of interrogation for education.  London: Falmer.
      I have included this book, despite its meagre attention to action research, because of its concern to educate the reader, and its emphasis on choosing the methodology to suit the research question and the research situation.  Especially for educational researchers it offers a penetrating analysis of the methodological issues that deserve attention, and some of the resources for dealing with them.

Brown, Tony, and Jones, Liz (2001)  Action research and postmodernism: congruence and critique.  Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
     To quote the authors: "The basic task of this book is to examine some of the difficulties encountered when seeking to reconcile a postmodernist style of analysis with the intentionality ordinarily assumed in practitioner-oriented research enquiry." [p 7]

Bruce, Raymon, and Wyman, Sherman (1998) Changing organizations: practicing action training and research.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      Describes an action research approach to organisation development which emphasises the development aspects of OD rather than just change.  After a historical overview of the approach, it deals in some detail with the practical aspects of action training and research.

Bunning, Cliff (1994) Action research: an emerging paradigm.  Brisbane: Tertiary Education Institute, The University of Queensland.  [Occasional paper series - No.  4].
      A brief contribution, both conceptual neat and usefully practical.

Burnaford, Gail E., Fischer, Joseph, and Hobson, Davis, eds. (2001) Teachers doing research: the power of action through inquiry, second edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
     [Carolyn Cook:]   I would highly recommend the book to interested 'beginners', as there are lots of good references, great teachers' stories (including some from foreign language and industrial arts) and interesting section on online research and collaboration (the companion website, is however, 'under construction'!!). Of the books I've had a look at, pretty well the best overview.
     [Abstract provided by author:]    Teachers doing research consists of a series of chapters describing the various approaches and methods for doing research collaboratively and independently in schools and classrooms.  The chapters begin with the exploration of journaling and classroom observation as means of 'finding a question' to research.  The text continues with the investigation of methods for collecting information about practice (field notes, interviews and focus groups, examination of student work) and the sources of collaboration and support for this work.  A chapter also situates teacher action research in the broader arena of social science research.  There are also ten accounts written by k-12 teachers about their research, ranging from studies of gender and physical education, to constructivism in high school science.  The second edition release provides examples and discussion of the roles for teacher research in preservice education and examines the nature of collaboration among teacher/university partners.

Burns, Anne (1999) Collaborative action research for English language teachers.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
     Much teacher research has been individual, where the teacher researchers her or his practice through critical reflection and individual inquiry.  Anne Burns recommends collaboration between teachers, using their individual experience as the basis for their collaborative action research.

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Calhoun, Emily (1994) How to use action research in the self-renewing school.  Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Cameron, Kim S.; Dutton, Jane E.; and Quinn, Robert E. (2003)  Positive organizational scholarship.  San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
     An approach to organisational research that is very like appreciative inquiry in many respects.

Caro-Bruce, Cathy (2000) Action research facilitator's handbook. Oxford, Ohio: National Staff Development Council.
     This handbook comes in the form of a loose-leaf document which presents very practical information in a clear way.

Carr, Tony, ed.  (1996) Broadening perspectives in action research.  Brisbane: ALARPM.
      A brief collection of invited papers from people associated with the eastern Australian networks of action researchers.

Carr, Wilfred (1995) For education: towards critical educational inquiry.  Buckingham: Open University Press.
      A collection of the papers published in various journals during the 1980s.

Carson, Terrance R., and Sumara, Dennis J., eds.  (1997)  Action research as a living practice.  New York: Peter Lang.
      On educational action research.

Castellanet, Christian, and Jordan, Carl F. (2002)  Participatory action research in natural resource management: a critique of the method based on five years' experience in the Transamaz™nica region of Brazil.  New York: Taylor and Francis.
     Drawing on their experience of five years of action research based participatory action research, the authors identify the strengths and weaknesses of an action research approach, and of the specific action research techniques they used.

Checkland, Peter, and Holwell, Sue (1998) Information, systems, and information systems: making sense of the field.  New York: Wiley.
      Action research, present in Checkland's work for some time, is here made more explicit as the framework within which soft systems methodology is conducted.  The emergent nature of soft systems methodology is also more directly addressed: it is clear that both the learning which emerges is about both process and content; and, it should be added, epistemology.  In research, Checkland argues, one applies an epistemological framework F, operationalised as a methodology M, to investigate some area of concern A.  The learning which results leads to improvement of F, M and A.
      This is one of the more carefully argued accounts of action research that I have read.  Pages 18-28 (“Mode of this work: action research”) sets out the framework.  Chapter 6, pages 155-172 (“Soft systems methodology in action research”) applies it to information systems research.

Checkland, Peter (1999) Soft systems methodology: a 30-year retrospective. Chichester: Wiley. Issued as a preface to P. Checkland and J. Scholes, Soft systems methodology in action (reissued).
     Rather than revise Soft systems methodology in action, Checkland has preserved the original text while adding a lengthy preface describing the development of his thinking about SSM over the past 30 year. In my view this is an important document.

Cherry, Nita (1999) Action research: a pathway to action, knowledge and learning.  Melbourne: RMIT University Press.
      A broad overview of action research, its origins and its methods.  It also provides a comparison with other methodologies, and addresses issues such as subjectivity and generalisability.  Although intended primarily for thesis candidates and supervisors, it is more broadly useful than that.  It includes four appendices by postgraduates and recent postgraduates recounting their experience.

Christiansen, Helen; Goulet, Linda; Kreutz, Caroline; and Maeers, Mhairi (1997)  Recreating relationships: collaboration and educational reform.  Albany: State University of New York Press.
      A collection of papers on collaborative research and reflection, with emphasis on the creation and benefits of collaborative communities of inquiry.

Christie, Patrick, and associates (2000) Taking care of what we have: participatory natural resource management on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.  Managua, Nicaragua: Centre for Research and Documentation of the Atlantic Coast, and International Development Resource Center.
      The Coastal Area Monitoring Project, CAMP, was set up in 1993 on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.  When it took over a fisheries laboratory it became CAMPlab.  The purpose included the participatory monitoring of land and sea resources.  This book, written as a series of chapters by the people directly involved, retraces the history of CAMPlab and documents its successes and challenges.

Church, Kathryn (1995) Forbidden narratives: critical autobiography as social science. Luxembourg: Gordon and Breach.

Coghlan, David, and Brannick, Teresa (2001) Doing research in your own organization. London: Sage.
     I have begun to recommend this book to people who are setting out to do organisational action research. Readable and mostly jargon-free, it provides them with enough of the basics to get started. People embarking on organisational action research for theses and dissertations will appreciate the attention given to rigour in research, an often neglected topic elsewhere in the action research literature.
While offering a useful introduction to the current relevant literature the authors also place action research within its historical framework. They provide clear overviews of several varieties of action research, including participatory action research, action learning, action science, action inquiry, co-operative inquiry, appreciative inquiry, and Schein's clinical inquiry. It deals well with such practical and important issues as organisational politics.
I think that novices, especially, will find the book particularly valuable. More seasoned action researchers, too, will find much that is useful in it, especially in the second half.

Cohen, Louis, Manion, Lawrence, and Morrison, Keith (2000) Research methods in education, fifth edition. London: Routledge.
An overview of a variety of research approaches, quantitative and qualitative, in common use in education. Chapter 13 is on action research, which is described as drawing on six concepts: (1) a cycle of problem identification, planning, intervention and evaluation; (2) reflective practice; (3) political emancipation; (4) critical theory; (5) professional development; and (6) participatory practitioner research [p 241].

Cole, Ardra L., and Knowles, J.  Gary (2000) Researching teaching: exploring teacher development through reflexive inquiry.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
      This book explores a number of ways in which teachers can better understand and improve their own practice through reflection and inquiry.  Both individual and collaborative mechanisms for reflexive inquiry are addressed, with some emphasis on collaborative inquiry.

Cooke, Bill, and Kothari, Uma, eds. (2001)  Participation: the new tyranny?  London: Zed Books.
     The dark side of participation.

Cooperrider, David L., and Avital, Michel, eds. (2004)  Constructive discourse and human organization.  Amsterdam: Elsevier.
     The first book in a new series on appreciative inquiry, Advances in Appreciative Inquiry.  The book sets a high standard with in-depth explorations of appreciative inquiry and some applications. The applications include knowledge management, pedagogy and program evaluation, among others.

Cooperrider, David L., Sorenson, Peter F., Jr., Whitney, Diana, and Yaeger, Therese F., eds. (2000) Appreciative inquiry: rethinking human organization toward a positive theory of change. Champaign, Ill.: Stipes Publishing.

Cooperrider, David L.; Whitney, Diana; and Stavros, Jacqueline M.; eds. (2003)  Appreciative Inquiry handbook: The first in a series of AI workbooks for leaders of change.  San Francisco, Ca.: Berrett-Koehler.
     A detailed account, often workbook-style, of appreciative inquiry. The books includes many resources.  Some examples: 'mini-lectures'; detailed process descriptions; examples of worksheets; and more.

Cousins, Bradley, and Earl, Lorna M., eds.  (1995) Participatory evaluation in education : studies in evaluation use and organizational learning.  London: Falmer.

Crane, Phil, and Richardson, Leanne (2000) Reconnect action research kit. Canberra: Department of Family and Community Services.
      Truly a "kit", practical and useful.  It developed a reputation with users within weeks of its release. A well-organised collection of models and processes, it was developed for use by practitioners working with homeless youth, but applicable well beyond that application.  Commissioned by the Australian Department of Family and Community Services, it is available as a set of pdf files on the web at
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Creswell, John W. (2002)  Research design: quantitative, qualitative and mixed method approaches, second edition. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.

Crotty, Michael (1998) The foundations of social research: meaning and perspective in the research process.  St.  Leonards: Allen & Unwin.
      Not action research, but deals in a refreshing and penetrating way with issues of interest to all researchers who try to engage with the world as it is.

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Dadds, Marion (1995) Passionate enquiry and school development: a story about teacher action research.  London: Falmer.

Dadds, Marion, and Hart, Susan, eds. (2001) Doing practitioner research differently. London: Falmer.

Day, Christopher; Elliott, John; Somekh, Bridget; and Winter, Richard, eds. (2002)  Theory and practice in action research: some international perspectives.  Wallingford, UK: Symposium Books.
     These 16 papers selected from the various issues of the journal Educational Action Research have been organised under the four headings of conceptualisations, praxis and partnership, action research for change, and action research in practice settings.

De Koning, Korrie, and Martin, Marion, eds.  (1996) Participatory research and health: issues and experiences.  London: Zed Books.

Defoer, Toon; Budelman, Arnoud; Toulmin, Camilla; and Carter, Simon E. (2000) Building common knowledge: participatory learning and action research. The Netherlands: Royal Tropical Institute.

Demusz, Kerry (2000)  Listening to the displaced: action research in the conflict zones of Sri Lanka.  Oxford, UK: Oxfam GB.

Denscombe, Martyn (1998) The good research guide for small-scale social research projects. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
     Presumably written primarily as a textbook for combined courses on qualitative and quantitative research, this provides brief overviews of surveys, case studies, experiments, action research and ethnography. This is followed by chapters on methods (questionnaires, interviews, observations and documents) and analysis.

Denzin, Norman K & Lincoln, Yvonna S., eds.  (2000) Handbook of qualitative research, second edition.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      A multidisciplinary collection of invited papers on many aspects of qualitative research, much revised compared to the well-regarded first edition.  There are chapters on action research by Davydd Greenwood and Morten Levin, and by Stephen Kemmis and Robin McTaggart.  Robert Stake has contributed a chapter on case study research.

Denzin, Norman K., and Lincoln, Yvonna S., eds.  (1998) Strategies of qualitative inquiry.  Thousand Oaks: Sage.
     This is part of the hardbound Handbook of qualitative research, (see previous entry) issued in paperback.  It consists largely of Part 3 of the handbook, on strategies of qualitative inquiry.  It contains a chapter on “Three approaches to participative inquiry” by Peter Reason, in addition to chapters on case study by Bob Stake and on grounded theory by Anselm Strauss and Juliet Corbin, among others.

Dey, Ian (1999) Grounding grounded theory: guidelines for qualitative inquiry.  San Diego: Academic Press.
     Packed with a surprising amount of material for its small size, mostly theoretical though with some attention to practical issues.  There is a strong emphasis on the process of theorising from grounded data.  Critical in the British academic tradition.  Worth reading for the interesting parallels between grounded theory and action research.

Dick, Bob (1999)  Rigour without numbers: the potential of dialectical processes as qualitative research tools, third edition.  Brisbane, Qld: Interchange.
      This brief monograph uses group feedback analysis, and a structured form of focus group, to illustrate some principles for bringing rigour to qualitative research.

Dick, Bob, and Dalmau, Tim (1999)  Values in action: applying the ideas of Argyris and Schön, second edition.  Brisbane, Qld: Interchange.
      The book is in three parts.  Part 1 provides an overview of the authors' understanding of some of the key ideas in action science.  Part 2 briefly describes some building blocks which can be used to assemble processes for individual and group intervention. Part 3 provides examples of actual processes.

Dotlich, David L.  and Noel, James L.  (1998)  Action learning: how the world's top companies are re-creating their leaders and themselves.  San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass,

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Easterby-Smith, Mark; Thorpe, Richard; and Lowe, Andy (2002) Management research: an introduction, second edition. London: Sage.

Elliott, Charles (1999) Locating the energy for change: an introduction to appreciative inquiry.  Winnipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development.
     Appreciative inquiry is a very positively framed and affirming approach.  What it shares with action research is an emphasis on research based on data and participant commitment.  This is a practical overview of the use of the methodology, more detailed than the “introduction” in the title might suggest.  The emphasis is on appreciative inquiry applied to organisational change.  Copious and helpful examples abound.

Emery, Merrelyn (1999)  Searching: the theory and practice of making cultural change.  Amsterdam: Benjamins.
      [Publisher's description:]  Searching describes the 'two-stage model' of open-systems social science in action and covers two major methods:  the Search Conference for strategic planning and community development;  and the Participative Design Workshop for the genotypical design and redesign of organisational structures.  The result of nearly 50 years of integrated conceptual and practical developments, Searching shows that by replacing 200 years of mechanistic assumptions with concepts and principles which accurately capture human and social realities, these methods generate intrinsic motivation and release human potentials for change.  Starting with the building blocks of this internally consistent theoretical framework, Part I explains the interrelations and shows how the power of the methods for achieving this cultural change is generated.  Part II of the book describes the methods and illustrates their flexibility by discussing some of their most common variations.

Ennals, Richard, and Gustavsen, Björn (1999)  Work organization and Europe as a development coalition.  Amsterdam: Benjamins.
      [Publisher's description:]  Work Organisation has achieved recent prominence in European policy, as new employment guidelines are embodied in the policies of all European Member States.  New forms of Work Organisation, properly understood, offer collaborative competitive advantage to European enterprises.  This book, based on decades of action research in separate European nations, identifies the research background from which these new insights and policy initiatives have emerged, with continuing lessons to be learned from differences.  Rather than arguing for a stronger role for the state, or simply leaving matters to the market, the book presents a “third way” based on networks and coalitions.  It provides valuable insights into new European Commission initiatives and Transatlantic Dialogue, and provides the foundations for renewed democratic dialogue.

Epstein, Joyce L., Sanders, Mavis G., Simon, Beth S., Salinas, Karen Clark, Jansorn, Natalie Rodriguez, and Van Voorhis, Frances L. (2002)  School, family and community partnerships: your handbook for action, second edition.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Corwin.
     Here ways are identified of creating school-community partnerships. The book contains questionnaires, pages which can be used to create overhead projections, and useful 'recipes'.  With this level of practical detail one can forgive the relative lack of theory.

Estrella, Marison (2000) Learning from change: issues and experiences in participatory monitoring and evaluation. London: Intermediate Technology Publications, International Development Research Centre.
     As Robert Chambers says in his Foreward, this collection brings together and analyses "the varied experience of innovators in South and North America, Africa and Asia". In a highly diverse collection, the themes are those of processes, methodological innovation, and participatory development.

Ezzy, Douglas (2002) Qualitative analysis: practice and innovation. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Within an overall hermeneutic approach, Douglas Ezzy covers a range of topics with current relevance to issues of data analysis and research rigour. With sections on participative action research and the overlapping of data and analysis, this has some relevance for action researchers generally.

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Faber, Brenton D. (2002)  Community action and organizational change: image, narrative, identity.  Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
     Brenton Faber describes community development and organizational change as related. He describes himself as an academic consultant in a book which is autobiographical, practically relevant, and engaging enough for bedtime reading.

Fals Borda, Orlando, ed.  (1998) People's participation: challenges ahead.  Jointly published by COLCIENCIAS and IEPRI, Colombia.
      Selected papers from the 4th World Congress of action research.

Farber-Robertson, Anita (2000)  Learning while leading: increasing your effectiveness in ministry.  Bethesda, Md.: The Alban Institute.
      I don't remember why I ordered this book, having no particular interest in the ministry.  I imagine someone recommended it.  Or perhaps I heard that Chris Argyris wrote the foreward.  Whatever the reason I'm pleased I read it.  It is a beautifully written and practical summary of Argyris's ideas, clearly explained and copiously illustrated with examples.  The themes are taken from Argyris; the examples and explanations are the authors.  They make the themes more accessible than they are in much of Argyris's own writing.  Though drawn from the ministry, the examples and accompanying discussion are especially illuminating.  Concepts which the author uses well include designed blindness, social virtues, and the ladder of inference.

Farmer, Lesley S.J. (2003)  How to conduct action research: a guide for library media specialists.  Chicago, Il.: American Association of School Librarians.

Fetterman, David M. (2001) Foundations of empowerment evaluation. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
     A highly participative approach to evaluation which is very similar in some respects to (and has been influenced by) action research

Fisher, Dalmar, and Torbert, William R.  (1995) Personal and organizational transformations: the true challenge of continual quality improvement.  London: McGraw-Hill.
      Refers to some action-research-like processes.  Describes how to apply the processes of action inquiry, among others, to bring about personal and organisational transformations.

Fishman, Daniel B. (1999) The case for pragmatic psychology. New York: New York University Press.
     I have often thought that the paucity of good practitioner research in psychology might be remedied if the teaching of conventional quantitative approaches were supplemented by action research and similar methodologies. Dan Fishman here offers an argument for more use of qualitative case study research in psychology, using processes for which action research would also be suitable, recommending an approach which is quite like action research in many aspects.

Flood, Robert Louis (1999) Rethinking the fifth discipline: learning within the unknowable.  London: Routledge.
      Above all, a well-reasoned account of systemic thinking and the many forms in which it takes shape in actual organisational work.  Centred on the work of Senge, it also summarises the work of other theorists who include Stafford Beer, Russell Ackoff, Ludwig Bertalanffy, Peter Checkland, C.  West Churchman, and many more.  Action research and action science are explicitly addressed.

Flood, Robert Louis, and Romm, Norma R.A.  (1996) Diversity management: triple loop learning.  Chichester: Wiley.
      With systems becoming more complex and theories and approaches multiplying, the authors offer ways of dealing with this theoretical and practical complexity

Flyvbjerg, Bent (2001)  Making social science matter: why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Forester, John (1999)  The deliberative practitioner: encouraging participatory planning processes.  MIT Press.
      [Publisher's description:]    Citizen participation in such complex issues as the quality of the environment, neighborhood housing, urban design, and economic development often brings with it suspicion of government, anger between stakeholders, and power plays by many--as well as appeals to rational argument.  Deliberative planning practice in these contexts takes political vision and pragmatic skill.  Working from the accounts of practitioners in urban and rural settings, North and South, John Forester shows how skillful deliberative practices can facilitate practical and timely participatory planning processes.  In so doing, he provides a window onto the wider world of democratic governance, participation, and practical decisionmaking.  Integrating interpretation and theoretical insight with diverse accounts of practice, Forester draws on political science, law, philosophy, literature, and planning to explore the challenges and possibilities of deliberative practice.  
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French, Sally; Reynolds, Frances; and Swain, John (2001)  Practical research: a guide for therapists, second edition.  London: Butterworth Heinemann.
     This introductory text on research for therapists covers most aspects of the research process.  There are chapters on various methods, including case study, participatory approaches, and action research.

French, Wendell, and Bell, Cecil H.  (1998) Organization development: behavioural science interventions for organisational improvement, sixth edition.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
      Yet a further revision of what was probably already the bible in its field.  Although set firmly within an action research framework, it gives little attention to action research except in the early chapters.  It does give a good mix of the history, theory and practice of organisation development, and will be useful for most action researchers, especially those who work in corporate environments.

Fricke, Werner, and Totterdill, Peter, eds. (2004)  Action research in workplace innovation and regional development.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
     In the Scandinavian fashion much of the research addressed here is large in scale, spanning multiple organizations and reflecting the Scandinavian interest in participation and industrial democracy.

Fuller, Roger, and Petch, Alison (1995) Practitioner research: the reflexive social worker.  Buckingham: Open University Press.
      Practitioner research, primarily survey or interview based, for social workers.


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Gadotti, Moacir (1996)  Pedagogy of praxis: a dialectical philosophy of education.  Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Ghaye, Anthony, and Ghaye, Kay (1998) Teaching and learning through critical reflective practice.  London: David Fulton.
      In this book the Ghayes take as their core concept the notion of reflection-on-action, in the style advocated by Donald Schon.  They advocate a thoughtful and evidence-driven approach to critical reflection alternating with practical action to improve both practice and understanding.  It is aimed at teachers as its audience, but has wider relevance.

Gibbs, Charles, and Mahé, Sally (2003)  Birth of a global community: appreciative inquiry in action.  Euclid, OH: Lakeshore Communications.
     Appreciative inquiry was chosen as the methodology to set up United Religions Initiative, a global interfaith organization.  This detailed and sometimes inspiring account relates how it was done.

Glanz, Jeffrey (2003)  Action research: an educational leader's guide to school improvement, second edition.  Norwood, Ma.: Christopher-Gordon.
     Action research is here broadly defined as applied research which is directed towards the evaluation or the improvement of educational practice.  Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are covered, at the level of an introductory research textbook.  The early chapters set the context, and address rigour and "objectivity" in action research through the lens of general semantics -- an uncommon but fruitful alliance.  Later chapters includes sections on different methods which can be used within an action research approach.

Glesne, Corrine (1999)  Becoming qualitative researchers: an introduction, second edition.  New York: Longman.
      A revised edition of what was already a brief, simple and systematic introduction to qualitative research.  It is illustrated with helpful examples.  After an overview to the field it deals in turn (among other things) with pre-study activities, participant observation, interviewing, rapport (a welcome and often ignored topic), ethics, analysis, and writing.

Glickman, Carl D. (2002)  Leadership for learning: how to help teachers succeed.  Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Goff, Susan, and associates (1998)  Restraint of love: participatory action research into the meaning of family violence to young people.  Lismore: Southern Cross University Press.
      [Publisher's description:]   Restraint of Love is a description of participatory action research (PAR) in practice.  Included are a selection of writings from the participants of a project which was funded by the Crime Prevention Unit within the Attorney General's Office in South Australia.  The project used PAR to explore the meaning of family violence to young people.  The purpose of the project was to extend the assumptions underpinning youth work and domestic violence intervention about this issue, in order to stimulate more effective intervention strategies.

Gomm, Roger; Hammersley, Martyn; and Foster, Peter, eds. (2000) Case study method: key issues, key texts. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
     This is a collection of papers by people who include Robert Stake, Yvonna Lincoln, Egon Guba, Ralph Turner and Howard Becker. The papers are grouped into two categories: "Intrinstic case study and generalizability" and "Case study and theory", in both instances offering a variety of views, summarised at the end of each section by the editors. There is an annotated bibliography.

Gonsalves, Julian; Becker, Thomas; Braun, Ann; Campilan, Dindo; De Chavez, Hidelisa; Fajber, Elizabeth; Kapiriri, Monica; Rivaca-Caminade, Joy; and Vernooy, Ronnie, eds. (2005)  Participatory research and development for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management: a sourcebook, 3 volumes.  Los Baños, Philippines: International Potato Center-Users' Perspectives With Agricultural Research and Development, and Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Centre.
     In the practical and multicultural tradition of the International Development Research Centre, practical applications in the developing world are addressed.  The three volumes, each of about 30 chapters, in turn address understanding (volume 1), enabling (volume 2) and doing (volume 3) participatory research and development.

Gorman, Gary E.  and Clayton, Peter, with contributions from Mary Lynn Rice-Lively and Lyn Gorman (1997) Qualitative research for the information professional: a practical handbook.  London: Library Association Publishing.
       [Publisher's description:]   Since the 1960s, qualitative methodologies have been attracting significant and growing interest as research tools.  This text is an integrated manual on how to conduct qualitative research.  Its coverage includes all aspects of the field from conception to completion and all areas from multisite studies to data organization.  The book features many examples and case studies and offers a manual of practice designed for LIS professionals.  It covers: an introduction to qualitative research in library and information management; grounded theory and types of qualitative research in library and information management; fieldwork and data collection in library and information management; recording data in fieldwork; analysing qualitative data; writing qualitative research reports; and examples of qualitative research in library and information management. 

Grady, Michael P. (1998) Qualitative and action research: a practitioner handbook. Bloomington, Indiana: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.

Grbich, Carol (1999) Qualitative research in health: an introduction. London: Sage.
     An eclectic overview of qualitative health research. The author discusses some of the historical and philosophical underpinnings of qualitative health research, including issues of reliability and validity. She distinguishes data-driven ("theory/concept generating") and theory-driven ("theory/concept- driven") research. She describes a variety of approaches (including action research) and methods in a practical and accessible way.

Green, Pam, ed. (2002)  Slices of life: qualitative research snapshots.  Melbourne: RMIT University Press.

Greenwood, Davydd, ed.  (1999) Action research: from practice to writing in an international action research development program.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
      A collection of chapters on the Scandinavian action research development program, ACRES (action research in Scandinavia).  What is most remarkable (and in some senses most useful, though there is much else in it that is useful) is that the various action researchers involved in the program are open about their differences.

Greenwood, Davydd J., and Levin, Morten (1998) Introduction to action research: social research for social change.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      A readable introductory overview of participative action research, stressing as necessary the three components of research, participation and action within a cyclic process of action and reflection.  Descriptions are also given of action science, human inquiry and participative evaluation.

Griffiths, Morwenna (2003)  Action for social justice in education: fairly different. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
     This book is a delight to read.  It is characterised by lucidity and warmth of expression, the skilful mix of theory and practice, and for the glimpses of the author which can be seen throughout the book. It is respectful of the people it refers to or cites. It is permeated with the values of social justice which it addresses. The phrase 'action research' doesn't occur very often in the book. The participative and egalitarian mindset which underpins action research is evident on almost every page. So is the action orientation.

Gummesson, Evert (2000) Qualitative methods in management research, second edition.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      This is the second edition of a book noted for its wide-ranging examination of qualitative research, its philosophy and practice, with reference to management research.  Chapter 6, “A management action science paradigm”, is especially relevant to action researchers.  However, the book takes into account issues of both management consultancy and applied research, and effectively integrates the two traditions.  There is therefore useful material for action researchers throughout the book.

Gustavsen, Bjørn; Finne, Håkon; and Oscarsson, Bo (2001)  Creating connectedness: the role of social research in innovation policy.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
     Another fine book in the series on Dialogues in work and innovation.

Gustavsen, Bjørn;  Hofmaier, Bernd;  Ekman Philips, Marianne;  and Wikman, Anders (1996)  Concept-driven development and the organization of the process of change.  Amsterdam: Benjamins.
       [Publisher's description:]  The Swedish Working Life Fund -- a temporary organisation functioning from 1990 to 1995 -- distributed 10 billion Swedish crowns for workplace development and initiated 25 000 projects.  About half of the total labour market was affected.  The evaluation study, which is built on case studies as well as a survey of a representative sample of the project population, describes the emergent characteristics of organisation development in Swedish enterprises and services.  In order to locate the efforts of the Fund within an explanatory context, the study draws on the idea of concept-driven change, of participation in development processes, of development coalitions, of infrastructure for change and of a society, this is supportive of change.

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Hammond, Sue Annis (1996) The thin book of appreciative inquiry.  Plano, Tx.: Kodiak Consulting.
    This is a readable and very brief outline of appreciative inquiry.  For a more detailed exposition, see the entry for Charles Elliott's book above.

Hammond, Sue Annis, and Royal, Cathy, eds.  (1998) Lessons from the field: applying appreciative inquiry.  Plano, Tx: Practical Press.
      An attractively-formatted book containing chapters on different appreciative inquiry case studies, with a few chapter on models.

Hart, Elizabeth, and Bond, Meg (1995) Action research for health and social care: a guide to practice.  Buckingham: Open University Press.

Hart, Roger A.
     1997)  Childrens' participation:  the theory and practice of involving young citizens in community development and environmental care.  London: Earthscan.
     Roger Hart offers suggestions to planners, educationalists and environmentalists for offering genuine participation to children in community development.

Hayes, Nicky, ed. (1997) Doing qualitative analysis in psychology. Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press.
     In quite a readable book, Nicky Hayes covers account analysis, repertory grid, theory-driven approaches, grounded theory and phenomenology, among other approaches.

Heckscher, Charles C.; Maccoby, Michael; Ram’rez, Rafael; and Tixier, Pierre-Eric (2003)  Agents of change: crossing the post-industrial divide.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Heron, John (1996) Co-operative inquiry: research into the human condition.  London: Sage.

Heron, John (1999) The complete facilitator's handbook.  London: Kogan Page.
      Not action research; but it deals with many of the issues involved in facilitating groups, and provides action researchers with useful concepts and techniques.

Heshusius, Lous, and Ballard, K., eds.  (1996)  From positivism to interpretivism and beyond: tales of transformation in educational and social research (the mind-body connection).  New York: Teachers College Press.
      A number of papers on ways of knowing which transcend those ways which are only intellectual.  Authors include James Anglin, Egon Guba, Thomas Schwandt and John Smith, among others.  There is a chapter (by Keith Ballard in Part 3) which has some material on action research.  But that's not my main reason for including it.  Part 2 contains a chapters by people who discovered the meanings that were not adequately captured by methods they refer to as positivist or reductionist or mechanistic.  They talk of the wisdom of the body, and the way in which their feelings communicated to them the inadequacy of the research methods which in many instances they had been taught.  This notion of embodied knowing, "somatic knowing", is the common thread which holds the book together.  If we are serious about participative research, this is one of the forms of knowing which will matter to some of our participants.  And perhaps to some of us.

Hilburt-Davis, Jane, and Dyer, W. Gibb, Jr. (2003)  Consulting to family businesses: a practical guide to contracting, assessment, and implementation.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
     Draws on both organisation development and action research to describe an approach to small business consultancy.

Hillocks, George, Jr.  (1995)  Teaching writing as reflective practice.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Hindle, Don, and Braithwaite, Jeffrey (2001)  Soft systems methodology plus (SSM+) : a guide for Australian health care professionals.  Sydney, NSW: Centre for Clinical Governance Research, University of New South Wales.

Hinsdale, Mary Ann, Lewis, Helen M., and Waller, Maxine (1995) It comes from the people: community development and local theology. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
     The authors describe in some detail a participatory action research case study used to revitalise a small community in Virginia, USA.

Hogan, Christine (2000) Facilitating empowerment: a handbook for facilitators, trainers and individuals. London: Kogan Page.
     A book about personal influence and interpersonal politics. Written primarily for facilitators, it includes many ideas and processes relevant to facilitation in general. It can also be used by individuals.

Hogan, Christine (2003)  Practical facilitation: a toolkit of techniques.  London: Kogan Page.
     Detailed step-by-step descriptions from a range of techniques, beginning with contracting and tracing the entire workshop process through to evaluation and follow-up.  A companion to Understanding facilitation: theory and principles (London: Kogan Page, 2002).

Hollingsworth, Sandra, ed.  (1997)  International action research: a casebook for educational reform.  London: Falmer.
      An extremely varied collection of papers, even though all are about educational settings, and all are about action research, broadly defined.

Holton, Elwood F., III, and Baldwin, Timothy T., eds. (2003)  Improving learning transfer in organizations.  San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass.
     Fourteen contributed chapters offer practical suggestions for increasing transfer of learning on to the job.  A chapter by Lyle Yorks deals specifically with action learning.

Hopkins, David (2002) A teacher's guide to classroom research, third edition. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
     A practical description of action research as it can be used by teachers to research their own classroom practice.

Hubbard, Ruth Shagoury, and Power, Brenda Miller (1999), Living the questions: a guide for teacher-researchers.  York, ME: Stenhouse.
     Beautifully written.  It works through the various aspects of teacher research, providing practical advice and examples, illustrating each chapter with papers by teacher-researchers.  Quite expensive..

Hutchinson, W., Metcalf, S., Standing, C., and Williams, M., eds.  (1995) Systems for the future, version 2, including late papers.  Perth, Western Australia: Edith Cowan University.
      Section 2 on systems methodologies and section 5 on applications of systems methodologies contain some useful papers.  There is a keynote address by Bob Flood on his Total Systems Intervention.

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International Institute for Environment and Development)  1988-2001)  PLA Notes cd-rom.  London: International Institute of Environment and Development.

Isaacs, William (1999)  Dialogue and the art of thinking together: a pioneering approach to communicating in business and in life.  New York: Currency.

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Jackson, Michael C. (2000) Systems approach to management. New York: Kluwer.
     Presents and critiques (mostly sympathetically) a number of systems-based intervention methods: systems theory, soft systems methodology, cybernetics, critical systems, operational research, and creative problem solving. A revision of Jackson's 1991 book

Jackson, Michael C. (2003)  Systems thinking: creative holism for managers.  Chichester: Wiley.

Jackson, Paul Z. and McKergow, Mark (2002)  The solutions focus: the simple way to positive change.  London: Nicholas Brealey.
     As the title suggests, this book describes a solution-oriented approach to personal and change.  It is strongly affirmative, bearing some resemblance to appreciative inquiry in its general approach though using different tools.  The core principles of the approach are summed up in the mnemonic "SIMPLE":  Solutions, not problems;  Inbetween -- the action is in the interaction;  Make use of what's there;  Possibilities -- past, present and future;  Language -- simply said;  and Every case is different.

Jarvis, P.  (1999) The practitioner-researcher: developing theory from practice.  San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1999.

Jason, Leonard A.; Keys, Christopher B.; Suarez-Balcazar, Yolanda; Taylor, Renée R.; and Davis, Margaret I.; eds. (2004)  Participatory community research: theories and methods in action.  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
     The topic is recent community psychology. The second chapter by Balcazar and others is on participatory action research. Other chapters deal with issues which include partnerships, power sharing and stakeholder perspectives. The book as a whole and many of its chapters, all based on experience, encourage applied and participatory research. Chapter 12 is worth special mention. In just over five pages it identifies some community concerns about participation and some issues which deserve attention.

Jayaratha, Nimal (1994)  Understanding and evaluating methodologies: NIMSAD, a systemic framework.  London: McGraw-Hill.
      After providing a context on information systems the author outlines a process ("NIMSAD") for evaluating research methodologies.  This is then used to provide a critical analysis of Structured Analysis, Mumford's ETHICS system, and Checkland's soft systems methodology (regarded by Checkland and others as an action research methodology).

Johnson, Andrew P. (2002) A short guide to action research, revised printing. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
     An introductory overview of action research often in sufficient detail for a novice to follow. There are useful examples given. It deals only with educational action research and from a quite traditional perspective.

Johnson, Sherrill (1994) Participatory research: a selected annotated bibliography.  Ottawa: International Development Research Centre (Canada) and Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University.

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Kalliola, Satu, and Nakari, Risto, eds.  (1999)  Resources for renewal: a participatory approach to the modernization of municipal organizations in Finland.  Amsterdam: Benjamins.
      [Publisher's description:]  In the 1990s, the public sector in most western countries experienced the same kin of productivity pressures as the private sector.  In Finland, state and local government organisations have pursued ...  these demands by cutting down personnel costs and by applying various models of New Public Management.  This book sheds light on the possibilities of solving the problems in public sector modernisation by changing the modes of operation of work organisations.  The results presented are based on development experiences in Finnish municipalities between 1991 and 1998.  The participative approach is focused on the simultaneous development of the quality of working life and the productivity of services along the lines of Organisational Assessment.  Thus, the book addresses some central issues within the debate on action research and on modernisation of public services, such as “top-down” and “bottom-up” developments and the impact for the customers.  A special feature in the book is a description of trade unions as actors in the development process and the role of trade union officials as developers.

Keiny, Shoshana (2002)  Ecological thinking: a new approach to educational change.  Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.
     Shoshana Keiny comments that much educational change is mechanistic. Instead she urges the use of a more 'ecological' approach, giving examples which often use an action research methodology.

Kember, David (2000) Action learning and action research: improving the quality of teaching and learning. London: Kogan Page.
     With more attention to the theory of action learning than is common, the author provides detailed descriptions of how action learning can be implemented. People wishing to set up action learning projects will find it valuable, not least for the step-by-step descriptions and the attention to theory and practice. It's pleasing to see the similarities of action learning and action research acknowledged as it is here.

Kember, David (2001) Reflective teaching and learning in the health professions: action research in professional education. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Keune, Lou, and Boog, Ben (2000) Investigación acción ejemplar: conceptos y aplicaciones. San José, Costa Rica: Asociación Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones.
     As the title says, exemplary action research: concepts and applications.

Kilmann, Ralph H.; Thomas, Kenneth W.; Slevin, Dennis P.; Nath, Raghu; and Jerrell, S.  Lee, eds.  (1994) Producing useful knowledge for organisations.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
      The results of a search conference, this book offers some suggestions about a better and more productive relationship between academia and management practice.

Kochendorfer, Leonard (1994) Becoming a reflective teacher.  Washington, DC: National Education Association.
       This is, in essence, a workbook to encourage teachers to think critically about themselves as teachers.

Koss, Catheryn, and Gubbels, Peter (2000) From the roots up: strengthening organizational capacity through guided self-assessment.  Oklahoma, Ok.: World Neighbours
      [Publisher's description:] Building on fifty years of field experience in World Neighbors programs, the guide is designed to help grassroots NGOs and community groups recognise their own potential, identify critical issues for program and organisational development, and decide for themselves what actions to take, in relation to their purpose, context, and resources.  The process presented in the guide provides local development organizations with the tools and perspectives necessary to strengthen their capacity by regularly reflecting on their performance, diagnosing internal strengths and weaknesses, identifying priority capacity areas, and designing action plans to improve effectiveness and long-term viability.  From the roots up:     provides an overview of organizational capacity building and assessment;   •   outlines the tools and building blocks needed to adapt and create participatory exercises;   •  gives guidance on how to prepare for and carry out an organizational self-assessment;   •  suggests ways that facilitators can effectively guide and support the process;   •  presents group processes for synthesizing, analyzing and documenting results; and   •  offers 49 participatory exercises to conduct with local NGO and community group members.
[To order, or for more information, contact World Neighbors, 4127 NW 122th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73120-8869 USA, (405) 752-9700, fax: (405) 752-9393; (e-mail);]

Krueger, Richard A., and Casey, Mary Anne (2000) Focus groups: a practical guide for applied research, third edition.  Newbury Park: Sage.
      A practical account of the uses of focus groups in applied research, including data analysis.  The authors have drawn on what is clearly wide and varied experience, and have increased the number of practical tips compared to the second edition.

Kushner, Saville (2000)  Personalizing evaluation.  London: Sage.
     A stylishly written account of program evaluation which places the person at the centre of what, in many ways, is a very practical account.

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Laidlaw, Moira; Lomax, Pam; and Whitehead, Jack, eds.  (1994) Accounting for ourselves.
      Congress papers from the third World Action Research Congress held at the University of Bath in 1994. 

Langenbach, Michael; Vaughn, Courtney; and Aagaard, Lola (1994) An introduction to educational research.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
      Presents a cube model which encourages categorizing research on the basis of being truth seeking or perspective seeking (ontological plane), using qualitative or quantitative methods, and whether the research supports the status quo or seeks reform.  Despite this last dimension, it doesn't mention action research, but very briefly mentions action science.

Layder, Derek (1998)  Sociological practice: linking theory and social research.  London: Sage.

Leeuwis, Cees, and Pyburn, Rhiannon, eds. (2002)  Wheelbarrows full of frogs: social learning in rural resource management. Assen, Netherlands: van Gorcum.
     This curiously-named book addresses social learning in rural community development. Practical examples provide a useful leavening for a largely academic approach. An index would have been a welcome addition.

Levin, Morten, ed. (2002)  Researching enterprise development: action research on the cooperation between management and labour in Norway.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Lindlof, Thomas R.  (1995) Qualitative commmunication research methods.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      A broad overview of qualitative research methodologies, with a focus on applications to communication research.  Intended as an advanced text, it contains sections on ethnomethodology, symbolic interactionism, symbolic interactionism, ethnography.  Some of the issues and processes discussed are relevant to action researchers.

Ludema, James D.; Whitney, Diana; Mohr, Bernard J.; and Griffin, Thomas J. (2003)  The appreciative inquiry summit: a practitioner's guide for leading large-group change.  San Francisco, Ca.: Berrett-Koehler.
     This well written and readable book provides a detailed description of an appreciative summit for whole-system change. It is structured around a typical sequence of events from earliest planning to post-summit follow-up. Throughout it is clear and informative, with copious examples to illustrate the various stages.

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Macadam, Robert; Drinan, John; Inall, Neil; and McKenzie, Bruce (2004)  Growing the capital of rural Australia: the task of capacity building.  Canberra, ACT: Australian Government, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Macdonald, Ranald, and Wisdom, James (2002)  Academic and educational development: research, evaluation and changing practice in higher education.  London: Kogan Page.

MacIntyre, Christine (2000) The art of action research in the classroom. London: David Fulton.

MacLean, Marion S., and Mohr, Marian M. (1999) Teacher-researchers at work. Berkeley, Ca.: The National Writing Project.

MacNair, Ray H., ed. (1998) Research strategies for community practice. New York: The Haworth Press.
     You will find here a variety of research approaches which include community practice, historical research, empowerment evaluation, community research and action research.

Marks, David F., and Yardley, Lucy, ed. (2004)  Research methods for clinical and health psychology.  London, UK: Sage.
     A chapter by Claire Ballinger, Lucy Yardley and Sheila Payne examines observation and action research.  Other chapters, which contain material for qualitative researchers in the health field, are in some instances also relevant to action researchers.

Marquardt, Michael J.  (1999)  Action learning in action: transforming problems and people for world-class organizational learning.  Palo-Alto: Davies-Black.
      In a balanced mix of concepts, practical suggestions and concrete examples, Michael Marquardt has produced a practical account of action learning in practice.  Several chapters at the end of the book then take the practitioner through the steps required to set up, maintain and monitor an action learning project.

Marquardt, Michael J. (2004)  Optimizing the power of action learning: solving problems and building leaders in real time.  Palo Alto, Ca.: Davies-Black.
     Without ignoring theory, Marquardt concentrates on a practical approach to leadership development using action learning in the North American style. He gives prominent attention to the role of the 'set advisor' (whom he calls 'coach') in setting up action learning groups ('learning sets'). He assumes that most learning sets share a single problem or project.

Marsick, Victoria J.  , and Volpe, Marie, eds.  (1999) Informal learning on the job.  Advances in Developing Human Resources, No.  3.
      [Barbara Kawulich:]  It contains several articles on informal learning, learning partnerships, and critical reflection.

Martin, Julie (1994) Action research: evaluation and health care widening our perspectives on nursing research.  Armidale, N.S.W.: University of New England Press.

May, Tim, ed. (2002)  Qualitative research in action.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
     An edited collection of chapters with an emphasis on current issues in qualitative research and methodology.  The chapters are organised in four parts: Putting the practice into theory;  generalisation, interpretation and analysis;  choices in context;  power, participation and expertise;  and reflexivity, the self and positioning.

McGill, Ian, and Beaty, Liz)  1995)  Action learning: a guide for professional, management and educational development, second edition.  London: Kogan Page.
     A very practical account of action learning and how it operates in action.

McGill, Ian, and Brockbank, Anne (2004)  The action learning handbook: powerful techniques for education, training and professional development.  London: RoutledgeFalmer.
     Though somewhat terse, this book covers a range of action learning approaches, both theory and practice, predominately in the British tradition.  The result is a good source of information on different varieties and different applications of action learning.

McKenzie, George; Powell, Jackie; and Usher, Robin (1997)  Understanding social research: perspectives on methodology and practice.  London: Falmer.
      A useful collection of papers for those approaching action research from other methodologies.  Although it has little to say about action research, it does address questions about the philosophical underpinnings of research which may help the reader to recognise the extent to which any methodology is both supported and constrained by its philosophy..

McKernan, James (1996) Curriculum action research: a handbook of methods and measures for the reflective practitioner, second edition.  London: Kogan Page.

McLean, James E.  (1995) Improving education through action research: a guide for administrators and teachers.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Corwin.
      A detailed and practical description of a very quantitative variety of educational action research, stressing measurement and statistical analysis as the means by which ones assumptions about practice can be verified or changed.

McLeod, John (2001)  Qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy. London: Sage, 2001.
     Intended for counsellors who wish to research their practice, this covers a range of qualitative techniques, including grounded theory (mostly following Strauss and Corbin).  There is a brief section on co-operative inquiry, which McLeod recognises as potentially a valuable meta-methodology:  "an integrative metaperspective" [p 122].

McMillan, James H., and Wergin, Jon F. (2001) Understanding and evaluating educational research, second edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
This collection of papers on educational evaluation is grouped under four headings: quantitative nonexperimental designs; quantitative experimental designs; qualitative designs; and action/practitioner research.

McNair, Ray H., ed.  (1999)  Research strategies for community practice.  New York: The Haworth Press.
      A monograph supplement to the Journal of Community Practice, this collection of papers cover such areas as community practice, historical research, network analysis, single system designs, empowerment evaluation and community research, among others.  It includes several concepts and processes of use to action researchers.

McNiff, Jean, Lomax, Pam, and Whitehead, Jack (1996) You and your action research project.  Bournemouth, UK: Hyde.
      A practical book, intended for teachers who wish to do an action research project, especially for thesis purposes.  It traces the research process from early planning to writing and publishing.

McNiff, Jean, and Whitehead, Jack (2000) Action research in organisations. Routledge.

McNiff, Jean, with Whitehead, Jack (2002) Action research: principles and practice, second edition. London: Routledge.
     A practical account of educational action research in the tradition of the Bath University group.

McTaggart, Robin, ed.  (1997)  Participatory action research: international contexts and consequences.  Albany: SUNY Press.
      A collection of action research papers by action researchers from several different nations and cultures.

Merriam, Sharan B.  (1998) Qualitative research and case study applications in education.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
      Emphasising qualitative case study research, Merriam considers in turn the research design, data collection, and data analysis and interpretation.  It does not address action research (except for a brief mention in passing) but deals with issues that are of relevance to all researchers who use qualitative and emergent research methodologies.

Metcalfe, Mike (1995) Business research through argument. Boston: Kluwer Academic.
     [Author summary:] The central thesis of this academic, expensive and badly edited, little book is that Aristotle, Hegel, Marx, and Feyerabend, Churchman, Mason and Mitroff were right, good knowledge, even that from the so called scientific method, is the result of a argumentative (dialectic) thus multiple perspectives process. This complements the "knowing from doing" philosophy of Action Research (American Pragmatism).
     This book has given numerous researchers some strategic direction in their design and writing. (See also ACIS 1999, and 2000 proceedings). Mike uses these ideas to run the Information Systems Doctoral School at South Australia (>25 students) and continue the research into use of the dialectic to improve ISD [].

Meyers, Ellen, and Rust, Frances O'Connell, eds. (2003)  Taking action with teacher research.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
     An edited collection of six educational case studies selected from a much larger body of classroom action research in the United States.  While the case studies reported here break little new ground they are all of good quality and demonstrate the way in which teachers are using action research to improve their own practice.

Miller, Robert L., and Brewer, John D., eds. (2003)  The A-Z of social research: a dictionary of key social science research concepts.  London: Sage.
     Actually, the A-W of social research, from "abduction" to "world wide web".  Along the way the 120 entries or so, averaging about three pages each and from about four dozen contributors, touch on a variety of subjects.  To give you some idea of the richness the first four entries are abduction, action research, analysis of variance, and attitudes.

Mills, Geoffrey E. (2003)  Action research: a guide for the teacher researcher, second edition.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
     Logically arranged and sympathetically and simply written, this can serve as a useful and practical introduction for educators who wish to research their own practice.

Minkler, Meredith, and Wallerstein, Nina, eds. (2003)  Community based participatory research for health.  San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass.
     Community based participatory research is in effect action research re-badged. There are wide ranging and informative chapters, including Bradbury and Reason, and Randy Stoecker's 'Are academics irrelevant?'. From his own experience Stoecker offers some advice to academics about how they might become more relevant.  A balance is achieved between theory and practice. A number of authors are willing to look at the disadvantages as well as the advantages of their approach. An appendix of resources adds to the book's usefulness. Relevant chapters are to be found in Part 2, on power and trust (including Stoecker's paper), and Part 4, on methodology and ethics. In Part 4, Jane Springett has an informative chapter on issues in participatory evaluation.

Morton-Cooper, Alison (2000) Action research in health care.  Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science.
      Aimed primarily at practitioners of health care, this is an appropriately practical and reasonably detailed account of participative, change-oriented, learning-oriented research.  The overall approach is that of participative evidence-based problem solving within the context of certain principles and values.  There is a useful appendix containing guidelines for critiquing action research.

Mukherji, Partha Nath, ed. (2000) Methodology in social research: dilemmas and perspectives. Essays in honour of Ramkrishna Mukherjee. New Delhi: Sage.

Mumford, Alan, Ed.  (1997)  Action learning at work.  Aldershot, UK: Gower.
      A collection of papers on action learning in organisational settings -- expensive, large, varied, valuable.

Munford, Robyn, and Sanders, Jackie, eds. (2003)  Making a difference in families: research that creates change.  Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
     This is a varied collection in which some exciting themes can be discerned.  As the title suggests, family research is the focus.  There is an emphasis throughout on involvement of clients as researchers, and on ensuring that the clients benefit in many ways from the research.  Client involvement in many of the chapters leads to skill development.  Many of the studies use an action research approach to evaluation, some using a strengths approach.  Many chapters illustrate innovative approaches to client involvement, research design, and community development.

Murray, Louis, and Lawrence, Brenda (2000) Practitioner-based enquiry: principals for postgraduate research. London: Falmer Press.
     This simply-expressed and practical book is explicitly addressed to postgraduate thesis and dissertation candidates and other people doing higher education research projects.

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Newman, Judith M.  (1998) Tensions of teaching: beyond tips to critical reflection.  New York: Teachers College Press.
      A collection of brief papers from teachers with whom Judith Newman worked to encourage critical thinking and the observation of critical incidents related to teaching.  Judith Newman provides some inspiring commentary.

Newman, Judith M.  (1997) Interwoven conversations: learning and teaching through critical reflection.  Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Scholars' Press.
      An account of what it is like to be a teacher determined to learn from experience, this book is often moving and often courageous.

Newman, Michael (1994) Defining the enemy: adult education in social action.  Sydney: Stewart Victor Publishing.
      An assertive and mostly critical account of adult education and the research methods and change methods usually employed

Noffke, Susan E., and Stevenson, Robert B., eds (1995) Educational action research: becoming practically critical.  New York: Teachers College Press.
      Papers on action research in teacher education, school improvement, and school support.

Norlander-Case, Kay A., Reagan, Timothy G., and Case, Charles W.  (1999) The professional teacher: the preparation and nurturance of the reflective practitioner.  San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass.

Nyden, Philip; Figert, Anne; Shibley, Mark; and Burrows, Darryl, eds. (1997) Building community: social science in action. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Pine Forge Press.
     Primarily a large collection of case studies to illustrate community-based research and action.

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O'Hanlon, Christine, ed.  (1996)  Professional development through action research: international educational perspectives.  London: Falmer Press.
      An edited collection of papers by a variety of authors on the use of action research in educational contexts.  This is a more diverse collection than the title implies.  It covers a variety of applications of action research, touching at different times on such topics as teacher education, feminism, distance learning, underachievement, and many more.

Outhwaite, William (1994) Habermas: a critical introduction.  Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
      Included here because Habermas' views have been an important source of many of the features of the influential Deakin University approach to action research, as championed by Stephen Kemmis, Robin McTaggart, and their colleagues.

Owen, John M., and Rogers, Patricia J.  (1999) Program evaluation: forms and approaches, International edition.  London: Sage.
      I've included this, first, because many of the techniques and processes of evaluation can be pressed into service in action research studies.  Action research has substantial components of "evaluation" contained within each cycle.  Second, this particular book is a practical and useful introduction to evaluation, accessible to beginners without doing too much an injustice to the complexity and sophistication of current evaluation approaches.

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Pålshaugen, Øyvind (1998) The end of organization theory?  Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
      This is in effect the report of an actual action research project in which the style of communication between management and employees was changed.  Informed by a strong and radical commitment to freedom and participation, Pålshaugen argues for having those most directly involved in situations developing the theories to make sense of that situation.

Parsons, Richard D., and Brown, Kimberlee S. (2002) Teacher as reflective practitioner and action researcher. Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth.

Partington, David, ed. (2002)  Essential skills for management research.  London: Sage.
     This contains a collection of chapters on different approaches to management research.  The book is worth getting for the final chapter on action research.  By Colin Eden and Chris Huxham, it is a condensation of their chapter in the Clegg, Hardy and Nord Handbook of organization studies.  Other chapter topics include grounded theory by David Partington, case study research by Alan Harrison, repertory grid by Keith Goffin, and cognitive mapping by Mark Jenkins, among others.

Patton, Michael Quinn (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods, third edition. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
     An expanded version of what was already a valuable resource, this is an entertaining and practical account of qualitative research methods in general, including qualitative evaluation. Although somewhat polemical in tone, the book nevertheless presents a compelling defence of the use of qualitative data in some research and evaluation situations. This revision takes account of recent development in qualitative research and evaluation in the breadth of its coverage.

Peppard, Judy (1997) A guide to connected curriculum and action research. Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Pilotta, Joseph J., and Kreps, Gary L., eds. (2000) Communication and social action research. Hampton Press.

Pinchen, Suzanne, and Passfield, Ron, eds.  (1995) Moving on: creative applications of action learning and action research.  Mt.  Gravatt, Queensland: Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management Assn, Inc.
      Papers from one of the annual Brisbane ALARPM conferences.

Poole, Marshall Scott; Van de Ven, Andrew H.; Dooley, Kevin; and Holmes, Michael E.  (2000)  Organizational change and innovation processes: theory and methods for research.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.
      The authors make a distinction between variance and process approaches to organisational research.  They argue that for some some purposes, process research using narrative explanation better engages with the complexity of organizational processes.  After an overview of process research and some of its issues, they discuss four approaches to process research:  Markov modelling, phasic analysis, event time series analysis, and nonlinear dynamic systems analysis.

Pope, Catherine, and Mays, Nicholas, eds. (2000) Qualitative research in health care, second edition. UK: BMJ Books.

Pound, Barry; Snapp, Sieglinde; McDougall, Cynthia; and Braun, Ann; eds. (2003)  Managing natural resources for sustainable livelihoods: uniting science and participation.  London Sterling, Va.: Earthscan.

Preskill, Hallie, and Coghlan, Anne T., eds. (2003)  Using appreciative inquiry in evaluation.  San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass.
     Published by the American Evaluation Association, this is a welcome addition to the New directions for evaluation series. An overview  introduces four appreciative inquiry case studies. Experienced evaluators then offer a critique. Patricia Rogers and Dugan Fraser (2003) analyse the cases with a mix of affirmation and scepticism. Michael Patton (2003) places appreciative evaluation in its wider context. While less sanguine about it than its practitioners he concludes that it is a useful addition to evaluation methods.

Pretty, Jules N.; Guijt, Irene; Scoones, Ian; and Thompson, John (1995)  A trainer's guide for participatory learning and action.  London: International Institute for Environment and Development.

Prilleltensky, Isaac, and Nelson, Geoffrey (2002)  Doing psychology critically: making a difference in diverse settings.  Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Quigley, B.  Allan, and Kuhne, Gary W., eds.  (1997)  Creating practical knowledge through action research: posing problems, solving problems and improving daily practice.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Raelin, Joe (2000)  Work-based learning: the new frontier of management development.  Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
      This is one of the books in the Addison-Wesley OD Series.  (Yes, it is published by Prentice-Hall, and the publication date is 2000 although it appeared mid-1999.)  Copiously referenced, conceptually well argued, illustrated with numerous example, it presents a useful guide to the theory and practice of action learning and similar experience-based and team-based learning approaches.

Raelin, Joseph A. (2003)  Creating leaderful organizations: how to bring out leadership in everyone.  San Francisco, Ca.: Berrett-Koehler.
     Joe Raelin's preferred term for action learning is 'work-based learning'.  This book can be read as an account of turning a work team into an action learning group. His goal is for every employee to be a leader. He describes how that might be done.

Reason, Peter, and Bradbury, Hilary, eds.  (2000)  Handbook of action research: participative inquiry and practice.  Thousand Oaks: Sage.
      This book represents an important leap forward for action research.  Though Peter Reason prefers the label "co-operative inquiry" for his own action research approach he and his co-author have here adopted the more generic term "action research" for what will almost certainly become a point of reference for action researchers.
     The chapters in the book are by an array of many of the best know writers in the action research field, though newcomers have not been neglected.  Many varieties of action research are represented, as are many settings.  (Education, usually much in evidence in the action research literature, is here modestly represented.)
     There are four sections.  "Groundings" presents the foundations. "Practices" covers some of the varieties. "Exemplars", the largest section in terms of number of papers, provides a rich collection of case studies. "Skills" identifies some of the competencies action researchers draw upon.  An initial section with one-paragraph summaries of each chapter helps readers find what is of interest to them. (I found all chapters interesting.)
     In their own commentaries, Peter Reason and Hilary Bradford identify some key themes and point to some ways forward. They give prominence to Bill Torbert's classification of first-person, second-person and third-person research.
     The book may seem expensive. However, it contains more information than you might expect in its 450 or so pages. In my view, each one of the 45 chapters, and the editors' introduction and conclusion, is of high standard.
     Overdue.  And impressive!

Rehm, Robert; Cebula, Nancy; Ryan, Fran; and Large, Martin (2002)  Futures that work: using search conferences to revitalize companies, communities and organizations.  Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers.
     After a brief overview the authors describe a search conference in some detail. An extended case study is included. There are valuable chapters on what to do before and afterwards. Half a dozen smaller case studies conclude the book. The book stays close to the Emery approach to search conferences, even using the Emery's job design approach and principles to design the search conference process.

Robson, Colin (2002)  Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, second edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Romm, Norma R.A.  (2001)  Accountability in social research: issues and debates.  New York: Kluwer.
     Presents a number of philosophical positions from which research can be examined.  Following chapters then each present a study within a particular research paradigm, and analyses of it from the positions previously described.  Paradigms considered are experimentation, survey research, ethnography, and action research.  Philosophical perspectives are: positivist, non-foundationalist, scientific realist, interpretivist, critical theoretical, anti-foundationalist feminist, and constructivist.  A final chapter summarises for each research paradigm the issue of accountability.

Rothwell, William J.  (1999)  The action learning guidebook: a real-time strategy for problem solving training design and employee development.  New York: Prentice-Hall.
      A pragmatic and detailed account of action learning: its underpinnings, its facilitation, its evaluation.  It is complete with worksheets (also included on a computer disk).  Used with some flexibility and openness to the actual situation and people, it offers the action learning practitioner detailed guidance.

Rothwell, William J., Sullivan, Roland, and McLean, Gary N., eds.  (1995) Practicing organization development: a guide for consultants.  Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
      A collection of papers written for this book on the various stages and styles of OD interventions.

Rowland, Stephen (2000)  The enquiring university teacher.  Buckingham: The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.

Ryan, Yoni, and Zuber-Skerritt, Ortrun, eds.  (1994) Departmental excellence in university education (DEUE).  Brisbane: Tertiary Education Institute, The University of Queensland.  [Occasional paper series - No.  3]
      A report on a university action learning program.

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Sagor, Richard (2000) Guiding school improvement with action research. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
     The version of action research here is primarily teacher research, where a teacher uses research to understand and improve her or his own practice. If offers a variety of ways in which teachers (and by implication other practitioners) can research their practice. Quantitative and qualitative methods are discussed. As the author's summarised process shows, it is mostly research in the tradition of quasi-experimentation: the process is (1) selecting a focus; (2) clarifying theories; (3) identifying research questions; (4) collecting data; (5) analysing data; (6) reporting results; and (7) taking informed action. Part 4 offers some counterpoint to this by discussing collaborative action research.

Sankaran, Shankar; Dick, Bob; Passfield, Ron; and Swepson, Pam, eds. (2001) Effective change management using action learning and action research: concepts, frameworks, processes, applications. Lismore, NSW, Australia: Southern Cross University Press.
      The editors, all associated with the Southern Cross Institute of Action Research, each write a brief introduction to one of the four sections: concepts, frameworks, processes and applications.  The papers in the book have a strong applied bent, many of them written about applications of action research and action learning in south east Asia and Australasia.  Expect more publications from here.

Schmuck, Richard A.  (1997)  Practical action research for change.  Arlington Heights, Ill.: IRI/Skylight Training and Publishing.
      Intended for teachers and school administrators, this book describes two forms of action research, “proactive” and “responsive”, each illustrated with examples.

Schmuck, Richard A., ed. (2000) Practical action research: a collection of articles. Arlington Heights, Ill.: IRI/Skylight Training and Publishing.

Schratz, Michael, and Walker, Rob (1995) Research as social change: new opportunities for qualitative research.  London: Routledge.
      A clear, simply-written and practical account, with some focus on organisational research.  In this examination of qualitative research methods, case study research and action research are also addressed.

Schwandt, Thomas A., ed. (2001)  Dictionary of qualitative inquiry, second edition.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.

Schwartz, Peter (1996) The art of the long view: planning for the future in an uncertain world.  New York: Doubleday.
      Dealing constructively with the present (one of the purposes of action research) often requires some willingness to anticipate what the future might be like.  In this book, the author describes scenario-based approaches to taking the future into account.

Schwarz, Roger M. (1994) The skilled facilitator: practical wisdom for developing effective groups. San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass.
     I think most books on facilitation are useful to action researchers, whose facilitation skills often determine the success of the research. Schwarz's book, written for both novice and experienced facilitators, is a valuable addition to the field. The book draws heavily on some of Chris Argyris's work to good effect, and in readable ways.

Seibert, Kent W., and Daudelin, Marilyn W. (1999) The role of reflection in managerial learning: theory, research and practice. Westport. Conn: Quorum.

Selener, Daniel (1998) Participatory action research and social change, third edition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Participatory Action Research Network, Cornell University.
     Both scholarly and practical, this book provides an almost encyclopaedic introduction to the varieties and applications of action research in many settings. Copiously referenced. Available from the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in Quito, Ecuador.

Selener, Daniel, with Purdy, Christopher, and Zapata, Gabriela (1998) Documenting, evaluating and learning from our development projects: a participatory systematization workbook, second edition. Quito, Ecuador: International Institute of Rural Reconstruction.

Senge, Peter M.; Scharmer, C. Otto; Jaworski, Joseph; and Flowers, Betty Sue (2004)  Presence: human purpose and the field of the future.  Cambridge, Ma.: Society for Organizational Learning.

Shacklock, Geoffrey, and Smyth, John, eds.  (1998) Being reflexive in critical educational and social research.  London: Falmer.
      A collection of readings from 16 critical research practitioners from several different nations.

Shavelson, Richard J., and Town, Lisa, eds. (2002)  Scientific research in education.  Washington: National Academy Press.

Smith, Jonathan A., Harré, Rom, and Van Langenhove, Luk, eds. (1995) Rethinking methods in psychology. London, CA: Sage.
     Cooperative inquiry is one of the alternative methods which the authors discuss.

Smith, Susan E.  and Willms, Dennis G., with Johnson, Nancy A., eds.  (1997)  Nurtured by knowledge: learning to do participatory action-research.  New York: Apex.
      Applications of participatory action research to community development in a number of countries.

Speedy, Sandra (2003)  Women using action learning and action research: the South African context.  Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University Press.

Srivastva, Suresh, and Cooperrider, David L., eds. (1999) Appreciative management and leadership: the power of positive thought and action in organizations, revised edition. Euclid, Ohio: Williams Custom Publishing.

Stake, Robert E.  (1995) The art of case study research: perspectives on practice.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      The title is well chosen.  This is a clearly-written account which deals with the style and culture of research as well as the pragmatic details.  A practical and readable overview from an experienced researcher.  It is apparent from this book that action research and case study research are very compatible approaches.

Stapp, William B., Wals, Arjen E.J., and Stankorb, Sheri L.  (1996) Environmental education for empowerment: action research and community problem solving.  Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt.
      Published by GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network), this book describes a combined action research and community problem solving process.  This process adds group problem solving methods from community development to a plan-implement-evaluate action research spiral.  The resulting process is applied to help students learn environmental management by researching environmental issues, especially water quality.

Strauss, Anselm, and Corbin, Juliet, eds.  (1997)  Grounded theory in practice.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
      Ten case studies illustrating the use of grounded theory for theory building from field data.  Grounded theory and action research have very different traditions.  They have in common an approach which is data driven, responsive to the situation, and therefore emergent.  It can be argued that grounded theory practitioners have made a better case for an emergent approach than many writers in the action research tradition.

Stringer, Ernie (1999) Action research, second edition.  Thousand Oaks: Sage.
      Emphasising community applications of action research, this clearly written book explains how to conduct action research in very practical terms, yet is consistent with the theoretical literature.

Stringer, Ernie; Agnello, Mary Frances; Baldwin, Shelia Conant; Christensen, Lois McFayden; Henry, Deana Lee Philbrook; Henry, Kenneth Ivan; Katt, Terresa Payne; Nason, Patricia Gathman; Newman, Vicky; Petty, Rhonda; Tinsley-Batson, Patsy S.  (1997)  Community-based ethnography: breaking traditional boundaries of research, teaching and learning.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Stringer, Ernie, and Genat, William J. (2004)  Action research in health.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall.
     The qualities of simplicity and accessibility of Ernie Stringer's earlier books are evident again here. Using the same action research cycle of 'look, think, act' the book emphasizes research rigour and the human aspects of participation and involvement. Concepts and processes are well integrated. There are many illustrations and examples. Despite the title, the book has relevance beyond health. It's occasionally quite prescriptive, for simplicity of expression, I suspect. In other respects it's eclectic. There is a strong emphasis on participation and communication. Acceptance of other research approaches is evident. So too is the authors' openness to both academic and public knowledge.

Sykes, Judith Anne (2002)  Action research: a practical guide for transforming your school library.  Greenwood Village, Co.: Libraries Unlimited.

Szewczak, Edward J., and Snodgrass, Coral, eds. (2002)  Managing the human side of information technology; challenges and solutions.  Hershey, Pa.: IRM Press.

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Taggart, Germaine L., and Wilson, Alfred P.  (1998) Promoting reflective thinking in teachers: 44 action strategies.  Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

Theis, Leona, and Ketilson, Lou Hammond (1994) Research for action: women in co-operatives.  Saskatoon, Sask.: Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan.

Tolman, Deborah L., and Brydon-Miller, Mary, eds. (2001) From subjects to subjectivities: a handbook of interpretive and participatory methods. New York: New York University Press.

Tomal, Daniel R. (2003)  Action research for educators.  Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow.
     This is intended as a very practical description of action research for practitioners who have little research experience.  It achieves this purpose by taking a quantitative approach to action research, mostly using survey methods and other instruments.  While acknowledging the debt to Lewin, it pays little heed to current literature outside education.

Toulmin, Stephen, and Gustavsen, Björn, eds.  (1996) Beyond theory: changing organisations through participation.  Amsterdam: Benjamins.
      In the northern Europe action research tradition, this book presents case studies and examples for illustration.  Some distinguished contributors are represented.  The epistemological underpinnings of action research are explored in novel ways.

Trauth, Eileen Moore, ed. (2001)  Qualitative research in IS:  issues and trends.  Hersey, Pa.: Idea Group.
     Chapters 3 and 8 discuss the use of action research in information systems.  Chapter 6 (on doing critical research) is also relevant.

Trist, Eric, Emery, Fred, and Murray, Hugh, eds. (1997) The social engagement of social science, Volume III: The socio-ecological perspective. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
   The third in a three-volume set of papers from the Tavistock Institute.

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Uchiyama, Kenichi (2003)  The theory and practice of actuality: reinterpreting soft systems methodology (SSM) from the Japanese point of view and its implications for management and information systems studies.  Tokyo: Institute of Business Research, Daito Bunka University.

Usher, Robin; Bryant, Ian; and Johnston, Rennie (1997) Adult education and the postmodern challenge: learning beyond the limits.  London: Routledge.
     Examines and offers some resolution for the tension between increased demands for adult education and the institutionalisation that characterises many educational institutions.

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van den Hoonaard, Will C., ed.  (2002)  Walking the tightrope: ethical issues for qualitative researchers. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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Waclawski, Janine, and Church, Allan H., eds. (2002)  Organization development: a data-driven approach to organizational change.  San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass.

Wallace, Michael J.  (1998) Action research for language teachers.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
      Written primarily for language teachers, this book emphasises the role of critical reflection for individual practitioner development.  It is practical in orientation, and presents material useful for practitioners who wish to improve their practice.

Walsh, Fiona, and Mitchell, Paul, eds. (2002)  Planning for country: cross-cultural approaches to decision-making on Aboriginal lands.  Alice Springs, NT: Jukurrpa Books.
     Participatory approaches used with indigenous people in northern Australia.  Practical, useful, copiously illustrated, and with wider application.

Watkins, Jane Magruder, and Mohr, Bernard J. (2001) Appreciative inquiry: change at the speed of imagination. San Francisco, Ca.: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

Weinstein, Krystyna (1995) Action learning: a journey in discovery and development.  Harper Collins.
      Readable and practical.

Wells, Gordon (1999)  Dialogic inquiry: towards a sociocultural practice and theory of education.  New York: Cambridge University Press.
      [Provided by author:]   Drawing on sociocultural activity theory (Vygotsky, Leont'ev, Engestrom, Cole, Wertsch, etc.) and discourse theory (Bakhtin, Halliday, etc.), Wells develops an argument for reconceptualizing education as “dialogic inquiry.” The second part of the book contains studies of dialogic inquiry in the classroom, based on the author's collaborative action research with elementary and middle school teachers.  The final section reviews this work in terms of Vygotsky's concept of “working in the zone of proximal development.”

Wells, Gordon; Bernard, L., Gianotti, M.  A., Keating, C., Konjevic, C., Kowal, M., Maher, A., Mayer, C., Moscoe, T., Orzechowska, E., Smieja, A., & Swartz, L.  (1994).  Changing schools from within: creating communities of inquiry.  Toronto: OISE Press: Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
      [Provided by author:]   This is a collection of reports of action research by educators working in contexts ranging from primary to university classrooms.  It contains an introductory chapter that argues the case for action research as a mode of professional development that offers the possibility of “changing schools from within.”

Whitelaw, Sandy; Beattie, Alan; Balogh, Rugh; and Watson, Jonathan (2003)  A review of the nature of action research.  Welsh Assembly Government.
     A careful literature review to define the nature, and the strengths and weaknesses, of action research.

Whitley, Bernard E., Jr.  (1996) Principles of research in behavioral science.  Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.
      An overview of several approaches to behavioural science, and sympathetic to some non-mainstream approaches.  For instance, on p 35: "action research is therefore perhaps the most complete form of science, encompassing all its aspects".  Included here because in the English speaking world, psychology is not known for its support of qualitative methods.

Whitney, Diana L.; Cooperrider, David; Trosten-Bloom, Amanda; and Kaplin, Brian S. (2002)  Encyclopedia of positive questions, volume I: using appreciative inquiry to bring out the best in your organization.  San Francisco, Ca.: Berrett-Koehler.
     This book presents an overview of the principles and practice of appreciative inquiry.  There are also specific technique described in detail.  Copious examples illustrate the methods.

Whitney, Diana, and Trosten-Bloom, Amanda (2003)  The power of appreciative inquiry: a practical guide to positive change.  San Francisco, Ca.: Berrett-Koehler.
     This is a practical and informative introduction to and overview of appreciative inquiry.  Simple enough to be suitable for novices, it covers enough of appreciative inquiry to be a good overview, with enough detail to be useful.  There is an account of the eight principles, a brief history, and a chapter each on the main phases of the '4 Ds': Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny, appreciative inquiry's version of the AR cycle.

Whyte, William Foote (1997)  Creative problem solving in the field: reflections on a career.  Walnut Creek, Ca.: Altamira.
      An autobiographical account from one of the grand masters of action research.

Wilkinson, Mervyn (1996) Action research for people and organisational change: a handbook, third edition.  Kelvin Grove, Qld.: Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Education.

Wilson, Maureen and Whitmore, Elizabeth (2000)  Seeds of fire: social development in an age of globalism.  Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood.  [Also Apex Press in the US]

Winter, Richard, and Munn-Giddings, Carol (2001) A handbook for action research in health and social care. Routledge.

Wolcott, Harry F.  (1994) Transforming qualitative data: description, analysis and interpretation.  Newbury Park, Ca.: Sage.

Wolfe, Michael P., and Pryor, Caroline R., eds. (2003)  The mission of the scholar: research and practice: a tribute to Nelson Haggerson.  New York: Peter Lang.

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Yin, Robert K. (2003)  Applications of case study research, second edition.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.

Yin, Robert K. (2003)  Case study research: design and methods, third edition.  Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.

Yorks, Lyle; O'Neil, Judy; and Marsick, Victoria (1999) Action learning: successful strategies for individual, team, and organizational development.  Williston, Vt.: Berrett-Koehler.

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Zeni, Jane, ed. (2001)  Ethical issues in practitioner research.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Zuber-Skerritt, Ortrun, and Conrad, Linda (1998) Developing as researchers, second substantially revised edition.  Brisbane: Griffith Institute for Higher Education.

Zuber-Skerritt, Ortrun, ed.  (1996) Frameworks for postgraduate education.  Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University Press.

Zuber-Skerritt, Ortrun, ed.  (1996) New directions in action research.  London: Falmer.
      Papers, mostly by Australian and Austrian action researchers, on the critical school of action research and its responses to postmodernism.


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Maintained by Bob Dick; this version 6.01w last revised 20060116