Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization


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Table of Contents

Part I: Foundations Chapter 1: Introducing Action Research Chapter 2: Researching Your Own Organizations Chapter 3: Knowing in Action Chapter 4: Understanding Action Research Part II: Issues and Challenges in Researching Your own Organization Chapter 5: Preunderstanding, Role Duality and Access Chapter 6: Managing Ethics and Organizational Politics Part III: Implementation Chapter 7: Constructing and Selecting Your Project Chapter 8: Designing and Implementing Your Action Research Project Chapter 9: Using Frameworks to Study Organizations in Action Chapter 10: Interlevel Dynamics in Action Research Chapter 11: Writing Up Your Insider Action Research Work Chapter 12: In Conclusion

About the Author

David Coghlan is Professor Emeritus and Fellow Emeritus at the Trinity Business School. University of Dublin, of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He specializes in organization development and action research and is active in both communities internationally. He has published over 160 articles and book chapters. His bestselling book, Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization (SAGE) has been through five editions, the most recent being published in April 2019. He is co-editor of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research (2014). Recent co-authored books include Collaborative Strategic Improvement through Network Action Learning (Edward Elgar, 2011) and Organizational Change and Strategy (2nd ed. Routledge, 2016). He is currently on the editorial boards of: Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Action Research, Action Learning: Research and Practice, Systemic Practice and Action Research, The OD Practitioner among others.


Clear and engaging, this updated and enhanced edition is essential reading for anyone interested in insider action research. It provides a comprehensive guide to the processes and challenges of action research, as well as helpful reflective exercises and recommended resources. I would highly recommend to students, novice researchers and academic supervisors of all disciplines.

-- Jane Jervis

This seminal text about insider action research will guide and inspire readers through content, exercises and compelling practical examples. David writes with high integrity as he personifies how to be attentive, humble and responsible when inquiring with people into the organizational dynamics they want to change.

-- Danielle Zandee

Grounded in research and thoughtful reflection, David Coghlan's fifth edition of Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization offers an accessible new structure, and conceptual illustrations provide highly useful guidance that is well-tailored to the student's own learning journey.

-- Birgit Helene Jevnaker

The book is life-changing for me as a management practitioner and academic researcher. It has led me to acquire the habit of reflection and consequently, depth in my analysis and practice. No other book could have guided me in this manner.

-- Cristine Margaret R. Atienza
A book that recognises and values the way people engaging in insider action research put their 'heart and soul' into the endeavour. It
speaks to the heart, whilst also providing insights into how best to use 'our heads and hands' as insider action researchers. -- Edel Roddy * Action Learning: Research and Practice, Routledge *

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