The SAGE Handbook of Action Research


Edited by: Hilary Bradbury

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    Part IV: SKILLS

  • Copyright

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    Notes on the Editor and Contributors

    The Editor

    Hilary Bradbury, PhD, is a scholar-practitioner whose work focuses on the human and organizational dimensions of creating healthy communities. While a PhD student in Boston, she met Peter Reason and their partnership resulted in the two previous volumes of the Handbook of Action Research. This in turn led to the development of the peer reviewed journal Action Research, which Hilary serves as Editor-in-Chief. The journal's energetic board of associate editors has since sought to additionally support practitioners by developing AR+, a virtual community for networks of participatory action researchers. AR+ also hosts a companion webpage for this Handbook: Hilary's own research is on personal integration as a key for advancing human capacity for collaborative organizing. She obtained her undergraduate degree in German/Theology at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and continued at graduate level at Harvard and University of Chicago's Divinity Schools. Starting her professional academic career at Case Western Reserve University's department of Organization Behavior, she became Professor of Management in Oregon's Health Sciences University (OHSU) in 2012. Hilary is also Visiting Professor of Action Research for the Business School of Lausanne in Switzerland. Her journal articles on the action research orientation to embracing the challenge of sustainability, and more recently on mindfulness, have appeared in Organization Science, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Sloan Management Review, among others. In 2014, Hilary founded an executive coaching and action research consultancy, Integrating Catalysts. She practices sustainable living with her family and various cooperate communities in her adopted home of Portland, Oregon.

    The Contributors

    Amy Rector Aranda earned her bachelor's degree in Philosophy before entering the field of Educational Studies for her doctoral program at the University of Cincinnati, where she focuses on Educational and Community-based Action Research and Curriculum Theory, and teaches courses in the Foundations of Education. In addition to her work around research ethics, she writes and conducts research on the relational aspects of teaching and learning, student voice, agency and empowerment, democratic practice, critical consciousness, and social justice in education.

    Oğuz N. Babüroğlu is a faculty member in the School of Management of Sabanci University and a founding Director of two companies that are fostering action research and action learning respectively, ARAMA and Mindport, in Turkey. His paradigm of research and practice is firmly rooted in the Emery-Trist tradition. He has developed over 800 action research initiatives with many different organizations in Turkey and beyond. ARAMA is a change agent and a participatory management consulting company focusing on managing strategic change using conferencing methodologies within a framework of developing micro-democracies. TEPAV is a think tank that was designed after one of ARAMA's Search Conferences with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, a quasi-NGO. The two institutions, one based in Istanbul and the other in Ankara, have worked together in various other action research projects. Oğuz jointly designed how to implement the Search Conference and the Polling Conference in the context of constitution-making.

    Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (I2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through the synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change (see This is described in Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems (ANU E Press, 2013). She is a Professor at The Australian National University (at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health in the Research School of Population Health) and also an ANU Public Policy Fellow. She has contributed I2S skills in the areas of drug policy, policing and security, and food security.

    Rebecca Boden is Professor of Critical Management at the University of Roehampton, London. A critical accountant, her primary research focus is on how ownership and regimes of management and accounting control affect sites of knowledge creation in terms of their outputs, outcomes, ethos and socio-economic role and participation. In terms of fields of study, much of her research effort is on higher education. Whilst Rebecca's work critiques existing systems, she places particular emphasis on seeking out alternative approaches to organizational issues and synthesizing these into imaginative, practical solutions. Thus, she is currently working on the possibility of the further development of universities as labor-controlled organizations. She is widely published in accounting, management and education journals and is currently a full partner in UNIKE, a major European Union-funded project investigating universities in the knowledge economy.

    Michelle Bourassa, PhD, is currently an Adjunct Research Professor in Education at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). She previously spent twenty years teaching courses in special education and differential learning at Ottawa University. She currently leads the Collectif des Savoirs Apprenants, a community of practice involving university researchers, school counsellors and graduate students who share a common interest in collaborative action learning and research. Dr Bourassa is the author of scholarly publications on novel approaches to school engagement in action research (, Vol. XXXV-2, Autumn 2007), teacher training (Cliniques actuelles de l'accompagnement, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2010) and learning disabilities such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and mental health using the lens of neurosciences (Le cerveau nomade: neurosciences, clinique et éducation, University of Ottawa, 2006).

    Juanita Brown, PhD, the co-originator of the World Café collaborates as a thinking partner with senior leaders across sectors to create innovative forums for strategic dialogue on critical business and societal issues. She has worked with a wide variety of clients in the US, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. Juanita has served as a senior affiliate with the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, as a research affiliate with the Institute for the Future, and as a Fellow of the World Business Academy. Her award-winning book, The World Café: Shaping Our Futures through Conversations that Matter, co-authored with David Isaacs and the World Café Community has been translated into 11 languages, and has recently been released in mainland China.

    Mary Brydon-Miller, PhD, directs the University of Cincinnati's Action Research Center and is Professor of Educational and Community-based Action Research in the Educational Studies Program in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. She is a participatory action researcher who conducts work in both school and community settings. She recently completed work on the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research with co-editor David Coghlan. Other recent publications focus on the development of new frameworks for understanding research ethics in community settings. She is a member the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and has served as a faculty member of the Poynter Center's Teaching Research Ethics workshop at Indiana University.

    Daniel J. Buckles is an independent consultant and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His recent publications focus on the experience of inequality among India's adivasi communities (Fighting Eviction: Tribal Land Rights and Research-in-Action, Cambridge University Press, 2013) and research with farmers in Bangladesh trying to break their dependency on tobacco production. As senior staff at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for 10 years Dr Buckles scouted research talent and helped design more than 60 research projects on rural poverty, biodiversity conservation, and urban environment. Previously, he was a Senior Scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico. He is co-author, with Jacques M. Chevalier, of Participatory Action Research: Theory and Methods for Engaged Inquiry, published in 2013 by Routledge UK.

    John Burgoyne is Professor of Management Learning in Lancaster University Management School, Associate at Ashridge and Henley Business Schools and Fellow at Brathay Trust and the Leadership Trust. He met Reg Revans when he worked at Manchester Business School between 1968 and 1974, where he also worked with Professor John Morris who developed real project-based learning, a very similar process to action learning.

    Danny Burns is team leader of the Participation cluster and was previously team leader of the Participation, Power and Social Change team at IDS (the Institute for Development Studies). His work focuses on participatory learning for social change with a strong emphasis on systems thinking and complexity. Between 2002 and 2010 he was Professor of Social and Organisational Learning at the University of the West of England (UWE). At UWE, he co-directed the SOLAR action research centre. Prior to this he was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. There he was Programme Director of the MSc in Management Development and Social Responsibility. Previously, Danny worked as the Director of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service for Scotland and prior to that as Director of the Decentralisation Research and Information Centre. Over the past eight years he has directed or co-directed more than 15 action research projects on issues including disability, volunteering, peace processes, slavery and bonded labour. He was co-Director of the Participate Initiative which brought together 18 participatory research groups working with people living in poverty and with marginalisation across the world to bring their life experiences into the post 2015 international development debates.

    Susan Canney is the Director of the Mali Elephant Project, a long-term initiative to conserve an iconic elephant population. She has worked on a variety of nature conservation projects in Africa, Asia and Europe, and as a Research Officer at the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding. Her work uses systems perspectives to understand the human–nature relationship and find sustainable solutions to conservation problems. She is a Research Associate of the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, and has co-authored a recently published book Conservation for Cambridge University Press, that takes a global perspective to bring conservation to the heart of sustainability and environmental policy.

    Dana Carman is an expert in human and organizational transformation. Since 1984 Dana has worked as a senior advisor, consultant and coach to leaders of more than 200 visionary organizations on five continents. His clients include multinationals, small and mid-sized market leaders, governments and NGOs. For well over two decades Dana has brought an integral whole systems approach to complex organizational change. Dana has co-founded two pioneering consultancies and trained and certified more than 500 consultants, coaches, and change agents worldwide. Dana is a co-founder of MetaIntegral Academy and sits on the board of MetaIntegral Associates. He is a founding member of Action Inquiry Associates and a principal with The Institute of Coaching based in St Petersburg, Russia. When not consulting, Dana leads outdoor adventure programs with Rites of Passage Vision Quests.

    María Teresa (Tere) Castillo-Burguete was born in Chiapas, Mexico, where she was profoundly steeped in Chiapanecan culture and grew up proud of her father's Zapotec ancestry. She joined the Department of Human Ecology, CINVESTAV-Unidad Merida, Mexico, in 1991 and has since become a researcher. Her PhD in Social Anthropology (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City) focused on gender relations in community participation in Yucatán. Currently, she teaches and learns in the Human Ecology Master's Program at CINVESTAV. During her more than 22 years working with PAR together with Yucatecan communities, the principle of ‘working with’ has made her very aware of the power of participants’ voices in action. Tere is co-author of chapters in all editions of the Handbook of Action Research and Associate Editor of the Action Research journal. Her non-academic passions include gardening – she dreams of growing and eating poison-free vegetables – and strolling under the warm early morning tropical sun.

    Pedro Castro-Borges has been a researcher in the Applied Physics Department, CINVESTAV-IPN Unidad Merida, Yucatán, Mexico, since 1986. He completed his PhD in Engineering at the UNAM and a post-doctorate at the IETCC Madrid, Spain. Reinforced concrete durability is his principal research interest, and he has received several national and international awards for his work. To date, he has authored or co-authored over 250 publications, including presentations at national and international congresses, book chapters, books, indexed journals, reviews, diffusion articles and reports. He is, or has been, a member of the international board of editors, and a reviewer, for specialized journals as well as Editor-in-Chief of the ALCONPAT Journal. In Mexico, he was admitted to the National Research System (SNI) in 1991, the Mexican Academy of Sciences in 1999 and the Engineering Academy in 2011. For a number of years he has been collaborating in participatory action research projects, working with participating community members to design and build prototype palafittes (raised houses) to prevent flood damage to homes.

    Chiara Certomà is Research Fellow at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa. She holds a degree in Philosophy of Science from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza'; a Master's in Environmental Communication from the University of Pisa; and a PhD in Political Sciences from the Sant'Anna School, Pisa. She studied and researched at the Open University, UK; the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Germany; and the Ghent University, Belgium. Her research interests lie at the junction of the two macro areas of science, society and technology and space, society and the environment studies. She is particularly interested in the role of new information and communication technologies in urban sustainability governance; the politics of space and place; and the social understanding of nature and technology (including current developments in environmental theory); the effects of informal urban planning practices. From a methodological point of view she works on material semiotic analysis and participatory science and politics approaches.

    Robert Chambers is an Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex. His practical and research experience has been mainly in East Africa and South Asia. His books include Rural Development: Putting the last first (Routledge, 1983), Whose Reality Counts? Putting the first last (ITDG Publishing, 1997), Participatory Workshops (Routledge, 2002), Ideas for Development (Routledge, 2005), Revolutions in Development Inquiry (Routledge, 2008), Provocations for Development (Practical Action Publishing, 2012), and Into the Unknown: Explorations in Development Practice (Practical Action Publishing, 2014). His current work and interests include power, epistemology and mindsets, and community-led total sanitation.

    Jacques M. Chevalier is Chancellor's Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. The author of many scholarly books and articles on a range of topics, including international development, Latin American anthropology, semiotics, and neurophilosophy, Dr Chevalier now coordinates an international initiative on novel approaches to community, workplace, school, and public engagement in action learning and research ( He is the co-author of A Guide to Collaborative Inquiry and Social Engagement (SAGE and IDRC, 2008), as well as Participatory Action Research: Theory and Methods for Engaged Inquiry (Routledge, 2013). The books describe groundbreaking theory and methods for participatory planning, evaluation and research tested around the world and adapted to fields ranging from sustainable development and organizational change to education, gender equity, public health, governance, and conflict management.

    David Coghlan is Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and Adjunct Professor of Business Studies. He specializes in organization development and action research and is active in both communities internationally. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters. Recent co-authored books include: Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization (SAGE, 4th edn, 2014) and Collaborative Strategic Improvement through Network Action Learning (Edward Elgar, 2011). He is co-editor of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research (2014), the four-volume set, Fundamentals of Organization Development (SAGE, 2010), and the proposed four-volume set, Action Research in Business & Management (SAGE, 2017). He is currently on the editorial boards of: Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Action Research, Action Learning: Research and Practice and Systemic Practice and Action Research, among others.

    Gill Coleman is the Director of the Centre for Action Research at Ashridge Business School, UK. She has a long-standing interest in action research as a process for learning within higher education, and particularly with inquiry-based participative learning for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. She is a Director of the Ashridge MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility, and is a member of faculty for the Ashridge Doctorate in Organizational Change. She is currently working on an action research project with the health system in Qatar, and has been helping colleagues run a co-operative inquiry for women entrepreneurs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She has a PhD from the University of Bath School of Management, where she used action research to explore connections between gender business education and sustainability and was part of the Centre for Action Research and Professional Practice.

    Andrea Cornwall is Head of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. Her publications include Spaces for Change: The Politics of Participation in New Democratic Arenas (Cornwall and Coelho, eds, Zed Books, 2007), The Participation Reader (Zed Books, 2011) and Feminisms, Empowerment and Development (Cornwall and Edwards, eds, Zed Books, 2014).

    Stephen J. Crowley is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boise State University. He is a graduate of Indiana University, where he was part of a rich interdisciplinary community (philosophers, computer scientists, psychologists, and biologists) working on issues in animal cognition. Since arriving at Boise State, Stephen has focused his research on developing an understanding of the barriers to and mechanisms for conducting interdisciplinary collaborative research. Some of this work involves agent-based modeling, but the major focus has been on empirically informed investigations with the Toolbox Project.

    Flavio Mesquita da Silva completed his MA in Whole Systems Design at Antioch University Seattle, having developed the project ‘Holistic systemic approach to peace: a case for design'. He is a PhD student in Human and Organizational Systems at Fielding Graduate University. He has been consulting, training, counseling, and coaching since 1978 in Brazil, USA, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and the United Kingdom in the areas of human, social, educational, environmental and organizational development for not-for-profit organizations, governments, corporate businesses, and many communities. He has been facilitating participatory processes, especially utilizing the World Café for small, medium, and large groups. More recently, he designed and has coordinated a statewide peace program in Brazil, a partnership between the Brazilian government and UNESCO, called Generation of Peace, through which he has gathered thousands of people in World Cafés throughout hundreds of high schools.

    Federico Dickinson is a physical anthropologist with a Sci.D. in Human Ecology. He has collaborated with Teresa Castillo for about 20 years in PAR in Yucatán, Mexico. His main research interests are migration and child growth. Federico is author of 87 peer-reviewed publications and has graduated 13 postgraduate students. Besides his work as a scientist, he likes to spend time at his carpentry workshop, reading novels, listening to music and walking.

    Michael Drinkwater is a founding member of WayFair Associates, who has always believed in the notion of praxis but found it constantly difficult to locate that sweet spot between the worlds of work and word. After his final position in CARE, guiding the tentative transition of the organization to a program approach, Michael has worked with a range of organizations on program quality and organizational development issues.

    Graham Duncan is Director of St Mary's Community Centre situated in inner-city Sheffield, UK. He completed a master's in Management (with distinction) at Sheffield Hallam University in 2010 with a dissertation on appreciative inquiry. His practitioner and research interests concern the application of asset-based approaches, including appreciative inquiry, to intractable social problems.

    Debra Durham, PhD, is an ethologist and primatologist who works on behalf of animals with a special focus on psychology and welfare. She is also a co-founder of CAMP, a project that serves human and chimpanzee communities in Uganda.

    Olav Eikeland is a Norwegian philosopher and working life researcher. Since 2008, he is Professor of Work Research and Research Director for the Program for Research on Education and Work at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. Since 2012, he is also Vice Dean of the Faculty of Education and International Studies. He was a researcher at the Work Research Institute from 1985 to 2008, and served as the Institute's Director during 2003 and 2004.

    Dusty Columbia Embury is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University. Her primary action research interests are focused on participatory action research and teacher behavior change as well as teacher use of action research and classroom- based action research – but she's open to other ideas. Dusty lives with her family in Lexington, Kentucky.

    Aftab Erfan is a scholar-practitioner, an instructor at the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, and the principal of Whole Picture Thinking, a consulting firm specializing in facilitation and conflict resolution. She has received multiple honors for her PhD dissertation on cross-cultural community planning, including the Donald Schön Award for Excellence in Learning from Practice from The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, and the Research for a Better Life: Storytellers Award from Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She is an active member of the Action Inquiry Fellowship, a community of inquiry where single, double, and triple loop feedback is passed around like hard candy.

    Elza Falkembach is Professor and researcher in the Graduate Program of Education in the Sciences at Unijuí – Universidade Regional do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. She has published articles and books on popular education, social movements, and systematization, emphasizing the topic of the subject. She has a PhD in Human Sciences from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

    David M. Fetterman Stanford University PhD, is President and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm. Concurrently, he is a Professor in the School of Business and Leadership at the University of Charleston and a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at San Jose State University. He has 25 years experience at Stanford University, serving as a Consulting Professor and Director of the MA Policy Analysis and Evaluation Program in the School of Education and the Director of Evaluation in the School of Medicine. Previously, he was a Professor and Research Director at the California Institute of Integral Studies; Principal Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research; and a Senior Associate and Project Director at RMC Research Corporation. He introduced empowerment evaluation to the field during his tenure as President of the American Evaluation Association. Dr Fetterman is the recipient of the association's highest honors in evaluation theory and practice, as well as the recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Research on Evaluation Distinguished Scholar Award. Dr Fetterman is the author of 16 books, including Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice and Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability (SAGE, 2015 with Kaftarian and Wandersman).

    Erica Gabrielle Foldy is Associate Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management at the Wagner School of Public Service, New York University and affiliated faculty with the Center for Gender in Organizations, Simmons School of Management. Erica's research addresses the question: What enables and inhibits learning and collaboration across potential divisions like race and gender, profession or differences of opinion? She is co-author of The Color Bind: Talking (and not Talking) about Race at Work, published by Russell Sage, and co-editor of Reader in Gender, Work and Organization from Wiley. In addition, she has published several dozen articles in a variety of scholarly journals and edited volumes. Erica holds a BA from Harvard College, a PhD from Boston College and was a post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.

    Victor J. Friedman is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and founder of the Action Research Center for Social Justice at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israel. His life work is helping individuals, organizations, and communities learn, especially under conditions of uncertainty and conflict, through ‘action science’ – theory building, experimentation, and critical reflection in everyday life. After receiving a BA in Middle Eastern Studies (Brandeis University, 1970), he worked in Arab–Jewish relations in Tunisia and Israel. Later he received a degree in Cross-cultural Psychology (MA, Columbia University, 1981) and Organizational Psychology (EdD, Harvard University, 1986). Since returning to Israel in 1987, he has worked to help school systems develop inclusive practices that meet the needs of all learners. He also conducts action research in intercultural communication, conflict resolution, social inclusion, and social entrepreneurship. He is co-author of a book entitled Demystifying Organizational Learning and Associate Editor of the Action Research journal. He lives with his wife in Zichron Jacob, Israel and has four grown children and two grandchildren.

    Carmen García-Gómez has been a teacher and researcher at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY), Mexico, since 1999. She completed a master's in Architecture at the UADY and a PhD in Architecture at the University of Colima, Mexico. Dwellings and the environment are her principal research area. To date she has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications, including presentations at national and international congresses, book chapters, books, indexed journals and diffusion articles. In addition to her academic interests, she works in urban planning for the City of Merida. For a number of years she has been collaborating in participatory action research projects, working with participating community members to design and build prototype palafittes (raised houses) to prevent flood damage to homes.

    John Gaventa is a Professorial Fellow and Director of Research at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. A researcher, educator and civil society practitioner, he has written and worked extensively on issues of citizen participation, accountability, power and participatory governance around the world. In 2011 he received the Tisch Civic Engagement Research Prize for his distinguished scholarship on civic learning, citizen participation and engaged research.

    Margaret Gearty is founding Director of the action research consultancy New Histories, a Fellow of the Ashridge Centre for Action Research (ACAR) and a member of faculty for the professional doctorate at Ashridge Business School, UK. Her interest lies in how systemic change for a sustainable future might be stimulated through storytelling, participation, and applied theories of change. Since completing her PhD at the University of Bath in 2009, she has built on ideas of systemic learning history and narrative action research both academically – through written articles – and in practice – through several large-scale action research projects. She combines these macro interests with an ongoing exploration of action research as craft and the micro-practices and skills involved. Prior to coming to action research Margaret worked as a manager and engineer in the semiconductor industry and thinks this may lie behind her curiosity in getting action research ‘to work’ in real-world challenging settings.

    Kenneth J. Gergen is a Senior Research Professor in Psychology at Swarthmore College, and the President of the Board of the Taos Institute. He is also the Associate Editor of Theory and Psychology, a position in which he has also served for the American Psychologist. He is internationally known for his contributions to social constructionist theory, technology and cultural change, the self, therapy, and relational practices. Among his most notable books are Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge, Realities and Relationships, The Saturated Self, An Invitation to Social Construction, and Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community. Gergen has received honorary degrees in both the US and Europe.

    Mary Gergen is Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women's Studies at Penn State University, Brandywine, as well as a consultant and Board member of the Taos Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the integration of social constructionist ideas with diverse professional practices throughout the world. Her major works are involved at the intersection of feminist theory and social constructionist ideas. In 2001 she published Feminist Reconstructions in Psychology: Narrative, Gender and Performance. She has also been author or editor of seven other books, as well as over one hundred articles and chapters for scholarly books. She has published pieces on dialogue, gender, narratives, collaborative practices, and qualitative inquiry. Most recently she has written Playing with Purpose, Adventures in Performative Social Science, with Kenneth J. Gergen, as well as edited a book on the process of retirement, Retiring, but not Shy: Feminist Psychologist Create Their Post-Careers, with Ellen Cole.

    Kent Glenzer works at and on the intersection of power, hegemony, social change and organizational and inter-organizational dynamics, particularly in Aidland north, south, east, and west. He's held global leadership positions with CARE and Oxfam – where he led organizational learning, development, and program evaluation units – and is Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey.

    Gülru Z. Göker works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Gender Studies at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey and teaches political science in the International Relations Department in the same university. Her research focuses on deliberative democracy, democratic theory, political participation, and women's movements. She received her PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2011.

    Chad Gonnerman is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Indiana. His work is largely at the interface of philosophy and science, with work on the structural nature of concepts, epistemic status of philosophical intuitions, egocentric biases in mindreading, and philosophy's ability to enhance collaborative cross-disciplinary understanding, communication, and research.

    Davydd J. Greenwood is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at Cornell University where he served as a faculty member from 1970 to 2014. A corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences since 1996, he served as the John S. Knight Professor and Director of the Mario Einaudi Center from 1983 to 1995 and as Director of the Cornell Institute for European Studies from 2000 to 2008. His work centers on action research, political economy, ethnic conflict, community and regional development, and neo-liberal reforms of higher education. Among his books are Unrewarding Wealth (Cambridge University Press, 1976), Nature, Culture, and Human History with William A. Stini (Joanna Cotler Books, 1977), The Taming of Evolution (Cornell University Press, 1985), Industrial Democracy as Process (Van Gorcum, 1992), and Introduction to Action Research with Morten Levin, two editions (SAGE, 1998, 2007).

    Meghna Guhathakurta taught International Relations at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1984–2007. She is currently Executive Director of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) a research support organized and based in Dhaka, which specializes in action research with marginalized communities. Dr Guhathakurta graduated from the University of Dhaka and received her PhD from the University of York, UK in politics. Her field of specialization has broadly been international development, gender relations and South Asian politics. She is well published in migration trends in partition histories, gender and post-conflict societies and minority rights in South Asia. She was Associate Editor of the Action Research Journal (SAGE Publications) from 2007–2010. She has co-authored with Willem Van Schendel The Bangladesh Reader, published by Duke University Press in 2013.

    Bj⊘rn Gustavsen is Professor Emeritus at the Swedish Centre for Working Life and Senior Research Fellow at the Work Research Institute, Oslo and Akershus University College. He has held Visiting Professorships at various universities in Norway and other countries. Bj⊘rn Gustavsen has participated in the development of action research programs and other initiatives in working life in a number of countries and has, alone and with others, written about 25 books and several hundred articles on topics like theory and practice, work, and organization.

    Budd Hall is co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Professor of Community-Development, and founding Director of the University of Victoria Office of Community-based Research, He has done both theoretical and practical work for 40 years in various aspects of community-based participatory research and social movement learning. He is a member of the International Adult Education Hall of Fame, was selected for the 2005 Canadian Bureau of International Education Innovation in International Education Award, and was granted an honorary doctorate by St Francis Xavier University in 2011. His most recent books are Learning and Education for a Better World: The Role of Social Movements by Sense Publishing, Knowledge, Democracy and Action: Community-University Research Partnerships in Global Perspectives by MUP and World Report on Higher Education 5: Knowledge, Engagement for Social Change Through Higher Education, GUNi and Palgrave Macmillan.

    Troy E. Hall is Professor and Department Head of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on developing and testing different communication messages, to understand factors influencing communication success. She has worked on various interdisciplinary teams to address complex natural resource issues.

    Hanne Heen is a Senior Researcher at the Work Research Institute, Oslo and Akershus University College. She is a social anthropologist by profession, and has also trained as a gestalt therapist. Her research has covered a broad scope of work life, including private, public, and voluntary sector as well as unpaid house and care work. She has mainly worked with questions related to organizational practice and work environment including safety and conflict management. Her empirical field includes, amongst others, oil-platforms, hospitals, schools, municipal health services, museums, and the army. Most of her work has been traditional empirical and theoretical research, but she has also been engaged in action research. Theoretically, she is interested in ideologies about work and the relation between paid and unpaid work.

    Andreas Hellström is a senior lecturer at the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and co-Director of the Centre for Healthcare Improvement (CHI) at Chalmers – a research and education centre focusing on quality improvement, innovation, and transformation in health care. In 2007, he successfully defended his PhD thesis on the diffusion and adoption of management ideas. He has led research projects in both the private sector and the public sector.

    Elaine Herdman-Barker is Director of the Global Leadership Profile at Action Inquiry Associates. She specializes in helping executives and consultants to become increasingly aware of their thoughts and behaviours in-action and is a leading authority on the assessment and practice of action-logics. A lecturer and facilitator at DeBaak Management Centrum in the Netherlands, Elaine leads Career Development, Adult Development and Leadership master classes across Europe, North Africa and America. Her coaching practice is worldwide and reaches across utilities, oil and gas, universities, local and central government, financial services, motor manufacturing, health, pharmaceutical, telecommunication and IT industries.

    Oscar Jara Holliday popular educator; Peruvian and Costa Rican sociologist. Director of the Centro de Estudios y Publicaciónes Alforja, Costa Rica, and President of the Consejo de Educación Popular de América Latina y el Caribe, CEAAL, which gathers around 200 organizations. Has developed formative activities and lectured in Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Author of many publications in Popular Education, Methodologies, Social movements, and systematization of experience; among them, Educación Popular, la dimensión educativa de la acción política (1981); Los desafíos de la Educación Popular (1984); Aprender desde la práctica (1989); Para Sistematizar Experiencias (1994); Apropiarse del futuro (2006); Educación y Cambio Social en América Latina (2009); and La Sistematización de Experiencias, práctica y teoría para otros mundos posibles (2012).

    Hsiao-Chuan Hsia is Professor and Director at the Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan. As the first scholar studying marriage migration issues in Taiwan, her first well-known book is titled Drifting Shoal (流岸): the ‘Foreign Brides’ Phenomenon in Capitalist Globalization (in Chinese). Her other publications analyze issues of immigrants, migrant workers, citizenship, empowerment, and social movement. Hsia is also an activist striving for the empowerment of immigrant women and the making of im/migrant movement in Taiwan. She initiated the Chinese programs for marriage migrants in 1995, leading to the establishment of TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan (TASAT). She is also the co-founder of the Alliance for the Human Rights Legislation for Immigrants and Migrants. She is an active officer of various regional and international organizations, including Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Asia Pacific Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Action Network for Marriage Migrants’ Rights and Empowerment (AMMORE), International Migrants Alliance (IMA) and International Women's Alliance (IWA).

    James J. Huntzicker is Professor and Head of the Division of Management in Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)'s School of Medicine. He has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California (Berkeley) and recently (2008) completed a master's of Management in McGill University's International Masters for Health Leadership Program. Jim joined Oregon Graduate Center, subsequently Oregon Graduate Institute (OGI) in 1974 and OHSU in 2001 when OHSU acquired OGI. He has had a number of roles including Professor of Environmental Science, various department headships, acting President of OGI, and OGI provost before assuming his current position. Jim led the team that developed the MBA in Healthcare Management.

    Tony Huzzard has a PhD in Business Administration from Umeå University and is a Professor in Organization Theory at the Department of Business Administration, Lund University. He has researched and published widely on organizational learning, change and development, industrial relations, and the sociology of work. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Health Care Improvement, Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg since 2011.

    Noriyuki Inoue, PhD, is Associate Professor at University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences. He specializes in educational psychology and educational research methods. His recent research focuses on teacher expertise development, action research, lesson study, achievement motivation, inquiry-based teaching, non-Western educational epistemology, and real-world problem solving. The books he has authored include: Beyond Actions: Psychology of Action Research for Mindful Educational Improvement (Peter Lang, 2015) and Mirrors of the Mind: Introduction to Mindful Ways of Thinking Education (Peter Lang, 2012). He received an MEd from Harvard University and an MA and PhD from Columbia University.

    Namrata Jaitli is Head of Programmes at Charities Aid Foundation, India (since April 2014). Prior to that she was Deputy Director of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), an international centre for learning and promotion of participation and democratic governance. She has multi-functional experience of 21 years in strengthening citizens’ participation, empowering marginalized communities, strengthening capacity building and knowledge generation initiatives. She is academically proficient with a PhD in Social Work, MA in Social Work and BA (Hons) in Psychology, coupled with numerous international and national workshops attained throughout her career span. Jaitli has executed projects on women's empowerment and decentralized water management, provided capacity-building and educational support to development professionals and institutions on participatory methodologies, facilitated monitoring, evaluations and research on development and governance issues, and convened multi-stakeholder policy dialogues and networking initiatives with different stakeholders.

    Dariusz Jemielniak is Professor of Management at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland. He heads up the Center for Research on Organizations and Workplaces (CROW), and is a cofounder of NeRDS (New Research on Digital Societies) group. He was a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University (2004–2005), Harvard University (2007, 2011–2012, 2015–2016), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015–2016), and University of California, Berkeley (2008), and a recipient of several awards for academic merit. He is an elected member of the Young Scholar's Academy of the Polish Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on power relations in knowledge-intensive work: The New Knowledge Workers (Edward Elgar, 2012), and on organization and leadership in open collaboration communities, Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia (Stanford University Press, 2014), as well as on the McDonaldization of university. In non-academic life, he is engaged in Wikipedia in different community roles.

    Robin Katcher is senior advisor at Management Assistance Group (MAG) where she leads projects specializing in movement networks. Robin focuses on supporting and transforming social justice efforts at not just the organizational level but also at the network level in order to build long-term power and change. Since joining MAG in 1999, Robin has brought her deep experience in social justice movements as an organizer, trainer, educator, legislative advocate, and board member to her rigorous approach to building hundreds of powerful organizations, leaders, and networks. Robin conducted cutting-edge research on the role of networks in building strong social movements whose findings were published in Nonprofit Quarterly as ‘Unstill Waters: The Fluid Role of Networks in Social Movements'. Robin is also lead author of ‘Toward Complex Adaptive Philanthropy: Preliminary Learnings from the Network Leadership Innovation Lab’ and co-author of several publications including Changing Organizational Systems from the Outside: OD Practitioners as Agents of Social Change.

    Katrin Kaeufer is President of the Presencing Institute, and Research Fellow at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her current work includes research focused on leadership, organizational change, and values-based banking. Kaeufer earned her MBA and PhD from Witten-Herdecke University, Germany. She has worked with mid-sized companies as well as global companies, non-profit organizations, the World Bank, and with the United Nations Development Program in New York. She is also a founding member of the Presencing Institute. Her recent book (Berrett-Koehler, 2013) which she co-authored with Otto Scharmer is titled Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies.

    Stephen Kemmis is Professor Emeritus in the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia. He is co-author with Wilfred Carr of Becoming Critical: Knowledge, Education and Action Research (Falmer, 1986) and, with Robin McTaggart and Rhonda Nixon, of The Action Research Planner: Doing Critical Participatory Action Research (Springer, 2014). His core interest is in how critical participatory action research initiatives open communicative spaces in which participants can explore the extent to which their actions (and their consequences) are rational and reasonable, productive and sustainable, and just and democratic. His recent writings on practice theory and the theories of practice architectures and ecologies of practices include Kemmis, S., Wilkinson, J., Edwards-Groves, C., Grootenboer, P. and Bristol, L. Changing Practices, Changing Education (Springer, 2014).

    Tina Koch was born in Arnhem, the Netherlands. At age 9, with her family, she migrated to Australia. She qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) and has since worked as a RGN in Australia, the Netherlands, and the UK. In 1993 her PhD in Nursing was awarded from the University of Manchester, UK. An active researcher since the 1980s, Tina held the position of Professor of Community Nursing at Flinders University of South Australia and Professor of Aged Care Nursing at Newcastle University, NSW. Tina developed a program of research in the area of chronic illness experience, with a theoretical focus on transition, that is, ways in which people learn to take the consequences of chronic conditions into their lives and move on. Tina has authored five books, 14 book chapters and 82 peer-reviewed journal publications predominantly using participatory action research. Although ‘retired’ and living in Adelaide, Tina holds academic status as Adjunct Professor of Nursing, Flinders University of South Australia; and Fellow of The Queen's Nursing Institute, London, UK.

    Emre Koyuncu is a program manager responsible for think tank and consultancy activities in the areas of decentralization, local development, strategic public management, and public engagement in TEPAV since 2005. He introduced the Citizen Scorecard concept to Turkey and coordinated scorecard initiatives in seven cities. He was involved in the core team designing and implementing the largest public engagement process in Turkey, the Constitution Platform: Turkey Speaks. Earlier in his career, he was involved in the United Cities and Local Governments and Youth for Habitat projects geared towards strengthening local democratic governance: the Turkey Local Agenda 21 Program. He is the co-author of ‘Citizen Scorecards: Improving Public Service Performance Through Citizen Feedback', ‘How to Monitor Municipal Budgets', ‘Understanding & Visualizing Socioeconomic Infrastructure of the City', and ‘Decentralization of Rural Services'. He holds an Executive MBA degree from the Middle East Technical University.

    Michael Krot is the CEO of Sequoia Change LLC, a global change leadership consulting firm focused on helping leaders of organizations successfully navigate change, rejuvenate their cultures, and achieve team and individual potential. He is also a member of Action Inquiry Associates, where he is committed to advancing the theory and practice of action inquiry and the application of constructive-developmental psychology to develop change leaders. He has also completed Stanford's Group Facilitation Training Program, has assisted in the delivery of the Interpersonal Dynamics course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and he has engaged in approximately 350 hours of T-Group. Michael received a BSc in Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a master's in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

    Hok Bun Ku got his PhD from the department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London in 1999. In 2001, he joined the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and now he is an Associate Professor and program leader of MSW (China) in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also the Vice Director of the Peking University – Hong Kong Polytechnic University Social Work Research Center, Associate Editor of Action Research, and Executive Editor of China Journal of Social Work. Ku heavily engages in practice and action research in China. He endeavors to advocate the participatory research methodology. He has been involved in China's rural development for about 15 years and has written extensively on topics related to rural development, cultural politics, participatory design, social exclusion and marginality, and social work education.

    Jackie Y.C. Kwok is Associate Professor in the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, leader of the User Oriented Research and Design Lab, member of the Departmental Research Committee, and deputy programme leader of MDes (Strategic Design). She is active in establishing research methods for the design discipline. She is recognized as one of the forerunners initiating participatory design methods in Hong Kong. Kwok's other focus of research is Design History. She writes and publishes extensively on research methods, inclusive design, participatory design, Chinese design history, and urban history. Publications include books, book chapters, and journal papers by international and local publishers.

    Mark Leach, DBA, is a senior consultant at Management Assistance Group (MAG). Mark uses his skills as a researcher, listener, consultant, thinker, coach, writer, and co-creator to support the work of social change leaders, organizations, and networks. Mark's recent publications (some co-authored) include: Complex Adaptive Philanthropy', ‘Creating Culture: Promising Practices of Successful Movement Networks', ‘Table for Two: Can Founders and Successors Co-Exist So Everyone Wins'?, ‘Changing Organizational Systems from the Outside: OD Practitioners as Agents of Social Change', and three case stories of highly effective network leaders. Previously Mark conducted leadership and capacity programs with Asian and African NGO leaders, and devoted many years to understanding and supporting global north–south collaborations.

    Morten Levin is a Professor at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, The Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. He holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, and postgraduate degrees in Operations Research and in Sociology (PhD). Throughout his professional life, he has worked as an action researcher with a particular focus on processes and structures of social change. The action research has been performed in industrial contexts, in local communities, and in university teaching where he has developed and directed four sequential PhD programs in action research. The two first were about organization and leadership in industry and the latter two focused on regional development (EDWOR program). He is the author of a number of books and articles.

    Benyamin Lichtenstein, PhD, is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a faculty member in the Organizations and Social Change group. His research specialty is the study of emergence, the creation and re-creation of new ventures, organizations, and collaborations; he also is an expert of complexity science and how it can be applied in entrepreneurship, leadership, and organizational change. He has published four books and more than 50 articles and chapters in internationally recognized journals; his most recent book is Generative Emergence: A New Science of Organizational, Entrepreneurial and Social Creation (Oxford University Press, 2014). Professor Lichtenstein is Academic Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at U-Mass Boston, and is a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Enterprise.

    Svante Lifvergren, MD, is a specialist in internal and respiratory medicine. He is Development Director at the Skaraborg Hospital Group (SkaS), Sweden, having also worked as a senior physician at SkaS since 1998. Further, he holds a PhD in Quality Sciences and he is co-Director for the Centre for Healthcare Improvement (CHI) at Chalmers University of Technology. His research mainly focuses on organizational development in complex health care organizations.

    M. Brinton Lykes, PhD, is Professor of Community-Cultural Psychology and Associate Director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, USA. She works with survivors of war and gross violations of human rights, drawing on cultural resources, creative arts, and feminist anti-racist participatory action research methodologies to analyze the causes, document the effects of violence and develop programs that rethread social relations and transform social inequalities. Her current work focuses on: (1) sexual violence against women in contexts of armed conflict and their struggles for truth, justice, healing, and reparations; and, (2) the effects of migration and deportation for transnational and mixed-status families. Her work appears in English and Spanish in refereed journals, edited volumes, co-edited and co-authored books, and newsletters.

    Juan Carlos Giles Macedo is a popular educator. For the last 20 years he has frequently acted as a facilitator and activist in capacity- and autonomy-strengthening processes of social organizations in Peru and Latin America. He values the fundamental role of the ‘family’ of approaches, methodologies, and languages that provoke spirals of critical and appreciative reflective action in personal, organizational, and social change processes. He therefore recognizes the relevance of experiential learning as the original and indispensable source of ‘knowledges that liberate'. He loves testing, researching, and systematizing diverse applications of action–reflection. He finds the combination of diverse languages (visual, corporal, argumentative, etc.) particularly fascinating and potent for expressing thoughts, sensations, and subjectivities that open new roads to emancipation from the many complex situations of oppression which we live as people. He thinks that everyone's work is an art form when it dares to provoke liberating action-reflection in complex realities.

    Judi Marshall is Professor Emerita of Leadership at Lancaster University Management School, UK. She joined Lancaster in early 2008 after many years at the School of Management, University of Bath, where she was a core member of the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice (CARPP). Her contributions to action research include a sequence of papers on the development of first person action research approaches, including that of living life as inquiry; and developing action research-based management education, for example, with colleagues, the MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice at Bath. How we can adequately pay attention to environmental sustainability is a strong theme in her current work, given the pressing challenges involved. In 2011, Judi co-authored Leadership for Sustainability: An Action Research Approach (Greenleaf Publishing). Other current interests include: systemic change, the gendering of corporate responsibility, and ‘responsible’ careers.

    Lauren Martin, PhD, is the Director of Research at the University of Minnesota's Urban Research Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) and affiliated faculty at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She received her doctoral degree in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York City and has been conducting engaged research with community partners since 2005. She is the author of numerous community and scholarly publications on sex trading amd community context, and also parenting in poverty; as well as helping develop programs and prevention efforts. Lauren's personal research mission is to co-create empirical knowledge in service of effective social change for justice and equity. Her current projects include, Mapping the Market for Juvenile Sex Trafficking in Minneapolis (co-conducted with Othayonih Research), a validation study of the Northside Achievement Zone's Family Academy: College-bound Babies, and an action research team on sex offender residence concentration.

    Elisa Martínez is a founding member of WayFair Associates and a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her academic and practitioner work reflects critically on the possibilities and limitations of social justice activism from within the international development enterprise. Elisa led the global impact study that is the subject of Chapter 29 in this volume, and played a central role in the decade-long effort to anchor CARE's programmatic approach in a commitment to gender equality and human rights.

    Laurie Mazur is an independent writer and consultant working at the intersection of environment, health, and social justice issues. She is the author, most recently, of ‘Cultivating Resilience in a Dangerous World', in State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible (Island Press, 2013). Laurie edited A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice and the Environmental Challenge (Island Press, 2009) and Beyond the Numbers: A Reader on Population, Consumption and the Environment (Island Press, 1994). She co-authored Marketing Madness: a Survival Guide to a Consumer Society (Westview Press, 1995). Laurie also founded and, for several years, directed the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights, an association of grantmakers that works to enhance the effectiveness of philanthropy in this field. In addition to MAG, her consultants have included the Aspen Institute, InterAction, Island Press, Religions for Peace, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

    David McCallum, SJ, EdD, is a Jesuit priest who serves as Chief Mission Officer at Le Moyne College, is an Assistant Professor of Management and Leadership, and currently, is serving as the interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement. He served as the interim Dean of the Madden School of Business at Le Moyne between 2012 and 2014. His research interests include adult learning and development, leadership and organizational development, action research, and mission integration. Fr McCallum provides consultation, facilitation, leadership and organizational development internationally, as well as directing spiritual retreats and workshops.

    Grady McGonagill, EdD, is principal of McGonagill Consulting, where he has led a practice of coaching and leadership development for 30 years. He has served organizations in the private, public, and social sectors, and worked in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Grady's workshops on coaching, leadership, and influence skills have been offered through executive programs affiliated with Harvard, MIT, and Babson College. He holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a master's degree from Stanford University. Grady is a contributor to the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, edited by Peter Senge et al. (Doubleday, 1994), author of a chapter in Executive Coaching, edited by C. Fitzgerald and J. Berger (Davies Black Publishing, 2002), and the lead author of Leadership and Web 2.0: The Leadership Implications of the Evolving Web (Bertelsmann Verlag, 2011). Since 2013 Grady's primary commitment has been supporting organizations and activities dedicated to addressing climate change.

    John B. McGuire is a Senior Fellow and transformation practice leader at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), specializing in leadership for an interdependent world. He is an international authority on leadership culture and organizational transformation, and played a central role in the development of CCL's capability in those arenas. As a practitioner, author, speaker, and researcher, John combines action research in partnership with client organizations while developing services and tools. This practical approach has led to methods that increase the probability of success in organizational change. He has helped organizations in healthcare, manufacturing, services, government, and nonprofit. John has held senior business management positions in Digital Equipment Corporation and Fidelity Investments and holds master's degrees from Harvard and Brandeis Universities.

    Milla McLachlan is an independent consultant on food systems change, and part-time Professor in Human Nutrition at Stellenbosch University. Milla is the co-founder of the Southern Africa Food Lab, a multi-stakeholder initiative to facilitate transformation towards social and environmental sustainability in the regional food system. Previously, she served as nutrition advisor at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and as senior policy analyst at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. She holds a PhD and MA from Michigan State University, has published several peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and review papers, and co-edited Combating Malnutrition: Time to Act, a World Bank publication on the need for innovation in nutrition change strategies.

    Robin McTaggart is Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at James Cook University, and the Griffith Institute of Educational Research at Griffith University, Australia. He is co-author with Stephen Kemmis and Rhonda Nixon, of The Action Research Planner: Doing Critical Participatory Action Research (Springer, 2014). He has published widely in the field of action research. He has also lectured and conducted workshops on the theory and practice of action research and program evaluation for private and public sector managers, professors, technical and further education and training professionals, educators, educational consultants, and health professionals in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. His interests include action research in cross-cultural settings: McTaggart, R. (ed). (1997) Participatory Action Research: International Contexts and Consequences. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

    Angie P. Mejia is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Syracuse University. Her research interests emcompass immigration, mental health, ethnicity, bio/psychopolitics, and citizenship. Her current work looks at U.S. Latinas's experiences with depression. As a sociologist, she believes that bringing to light the lived realities of marginalized community members can help others craft alternative ways of understanding and addressing sadness, in order to counteract the social impacts arising from society's pharmaceutical overfetishization of health. Using participatory action research approaches such as Photovoice, she has worked alongside other Latinas at sharing experiences of crossing (and surviving) affective and geopolitically (in)distinguishable man-made fronteras. In these visual narratives by immigrant Latina women, she sees a blueprint to help us better understand our acts of survival under neoliberalism.

    Debra Merskin, PhD, is Associate Professor of Media Studies in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Her research explores parallels in racism, sexism, and speciesism in media representations.

    Greta Meszoely is the founder/Director of the Center for Business Complexity and Global Leadership and Associate Professor of Strategy and International Business in the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University. Dr Meszoely brings a wealth of experience in business practice, research, and social and economic development to support an action-oriented approach to advancing both science and practice through interdisciplinary networked collaboration. Her interest in sustainable large system governance has led to research incorporating our understanding of complex adaptive systems to financial systems; social, political, legal, and economic networks; technology systems; organizations, etc. Dr Meszoely holds a PhD in Law and Public Policy, an MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics, and a BS in International Business from Northeastern University.

    Gerald Midgley is Professor of Systems Thinking at the University of Hull, UK. He also holds Adjunct Professorships at the University of Queensland, Australia; the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Mälardalen University, Sweden; and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He was Director of the Centre for Systems Studies at Hull from 1997 to 2003 and from 2010 to 2014. From 2003 to 2010, he was a Senior Science Leader in the Social Systems Group at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, New Zealand. He has had over 300 papers on systemic action research published in international journals, edited books and practitioner magazines, and has been involved in a wide variety of public sector, community development, technology foresight and resource management projects. He was the 2013–14 President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, and has written or edited 11 books including, Systemic Intervention: Philosophy, Methodology, and Practice (Kluwer, 2000); Systems Thinking, Volumes I–IV (SAGE, 2003); and Community Operational Research: OR and Systems Thinking for Community Development (Kluwer, 2004).

    Katrin Muff serves as Dean of Business School Lausanne since 2008. Under her leadership, the school embraced sustainability, responsibility, and entrepreneurship in a three-pillar vision. Her international business experience includes nearly a decade with Alcoa in Europe, the US, and in Russia. She worked for Iams Pet Food as Strategic Planning Director and has co-founded a European incubator for early seed start-ups. Muff researches in the interdisciplinary domains of education, business sustainability, and leadership. She has co-founded the World Business School Council for Sustainable Business and is actively engaged in GRLI's project 50+20, a vision of management education for the world.

    Aliki Nicolaides, Ed.D Teachers College, Columbia University, is an Assistant Professor of Adult Education at the University of Georgia. Dr. Nicolaides seeks to optimize vital developmental conditions for adults, groups, and systems to learn. Through years of research and teaching, she has developed a theory of learning-within-ambiguity called ‘Generative Learning'. The results show how adults may also learn from within the complexity so prevalent in this period of liquid modernity. Her work suggests that encounters with persistent ambiguity evoke learning from potential hidden within complexity. Aliki has authored and co-authored articles that have appeared in Adult Education Quarterly, The Journal of Transformative Education, Human Resource Development Quarterly, and Teachers College Press to name a few.

    Christina Nicolaidis, MD, MPH, is a general internist and health equity researcher interested in participatory approaches to improve the health of marginalized communities. She is Professor of Social Work and Senior Scholar in Social Determinants of Health at Portland State University, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, and co-Director of the Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE).

    Rhonda Nixon is Adjunct Professor in Elementary Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is co-author with Stephen Kemmis and Robin McTaggart of The Action Research Planner: Doing Critical Participatory Action Research (Springer, 2014). She has published in the areas of action research, teacher research, teacher professional development, and language and literacy, especially multimodal literacy and assessment, and writing and assessment. She has taught from Grade One to post-secondary for seventeen years and continues to work in a research and management capacity in Edmonton Catholic Schools.

    George Ladaah Openjuru, is an Associate Professor of Education and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs of Gulu University, Uganda. He was formerly Dean of the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University, and Head of Department of Community Education and Extra-Mural Studies, Institute of Adult and Continuing Education. Previously he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Adult and Community Education, Makerere University. He has published a number of articles and book chapters in the area of lifelong learning and adult literacy education. He is currently the Chairperson of the Uganda Adult Education Network (UGAADEN), a network of Adult Education Organizations in Uganda. His area of professional specialization is adult education with specific focus on adult literacy education, community university engagement, lifelong learning, and knowledge democracy. He is a partner in the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education.

    Michael O'Rourke is Professor of Philosophy and faculty in AgBioResearch at Michigan State University. His research interests include environmental philosophy, the nature of epistemic integration, and communication in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, and the nature of linguistic communication between intelligent agents. He directs the Toolbox Project: (, a NSF-sponsored research initiative that investigates philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research.

    Alfredo Ortiz Aragón, PhD, is a Visiting Professor of Nonprofit Management and Social Change at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), an action-researcher, and designer/facilitator of organizational change processes. His priority is critical reflection on how power relationships between (and within) people – including by use of methodology – enable and constrain ‘desirable’ and ‘feasible’ change. He believes that increased awareness of the role all people play in including and excluding diverse ways of understanding and acting in the world can lead to new perspectives and increased inclusion of marginalized people, causes, ideas, and ways of knowing. His research is currently focused on how organizations that support social change emerge, lead, strengthen themselves, adapt, and remain relevant in complex, contested development realities. Methodologically, he is particularly interested in how action research (AR) and capacity building as AR may support these processes.

    Øyvind Pålshaugen, PhD, is researcher at the Work Research Institute, Oslo and Akershus University College, since 1981. He has performed action research in cooperation with enterprises in a number of industry branches within the private sector and organizations within the public sector. His publications focus on the use of words as a tool in action research and democratization processes. He is member of the editorial board of International Journal of Action Research and Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Workplace Innovation.

    Charles J. Palus is a Senior Fellow in Research and Development at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). As a collaborator in several cross-disciplinary research groups, he studies leadership as a collective social process. He is co-founder and manager of CCL Labs, a community-based innovation laboratory that prototypes products such as the Leadership Explorer tools including Visual Explorer, Leadership Essentials, and the Early Leadership Toolkit. Chuck is a co-founder of and a designer, facilitator, and researcher in the CCL organizational leadership practice. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Boston College.

    Mike Pedler met Reg Revans in 1975 and has been working with action learning since then. He is a partner in the Centre for Action Learning Facilitation (C-ALF), founding editor of the journal: Action Learning: Research and Practice and Emeritus Professor at Henley Business School, University of Reading UK.

    Elissa Perry, MFA, is a senior consultant at Management Assistance Group (MAG) and program catalyst for the Network Leadership Innovation Lab. As a consultant and coach, Elissa supports people and groups of people with a justice mission to be better in what they do. Elissa also teaches in the MA in Leadership Programs at Saint Mary's College of California where she facilitates diverse, cross-sector, and multi-issue learning communities and recently helped establish a social justice concentration. Elissa is co-author of ‘Doing More with More: Lessons from a Shared Leadership Initiative', published in Nonprofit Quarterly and Leadership & Race: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice', from Leadership Learning Community. Lately, her work has been focused on developing leadership and integrating art and consciousness as it pertains to culture change and movement networks.

    Michel Pimbert is Director of the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University. He previously worked at the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics in India and the World Wide Fund for Nature in Switzerland. He has also done research for organizations including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). He has been a Board member of several international organizations working on food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, environment and human rights. He has worked in Asia, Europe, Latin America and West Africa. His research interests include: enabling policies and practices for agroecology and food sovereignty; the governance and adaptive management of biodiversity and natural resources; participatory action research methodologies; and deliberative democratic processes. He recently joined the High Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security of the UN FAO.

    Timothy Pyrch is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Calgary, Canada. His life's practice has been in liberatory adult education and community development in a variety of educational settings in western Canada. At the same time, he searched for the intellectual origins of these concepts as they evolved in the English-speaking world commencing in the sixteenth century. Throughout these searches, he was influenced by the spiritual traditions of Canadian and Australian Aboriginal peoples. His experience includes Visiting Professorships in Mexico, Thailand and the UK where he taught courses in PAR and popular education.

    Dora Raymaker, PhD, is a systems scientist working at Portland State University's Regional Research Institute for Human Services, and the co-Director the Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education. Her various projects center around services research conducted in collaboration with individuals with disabilities and mental health conditions. Her research interests include community-engaged practices, measurement adaptation and knowledge translation, and dynamics at the intersection of science, society and public policy.

    Peter Reason is Professor Emeritus at the University of Bath. Before he retired in 2009 his academic work contributed to the theory and practice of action research, and teaching and research about sustainability. Post-retirement he has focused on ‘nature writing for an ecology in crisis', drawing in particular on his experience of the sea through sailing. He has published articles and reviews in Resurgence, EarthLines and elsewhere and blogs at His most recent book, Spindrift: A Wilderness Pilgrimage at Sea (Vala Publishing Cooperative, 2014), came first in the non-fiction category of the Rubery Book Award 2014.

    George Roth is a Research Associate at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Visiting Professor of Management at the University of New Hampshire's Paul College of Business and Economics. He is the author of numerous academic and professional journal articles on learning and change; including articles in the Harvard Business Review, Organizational Dynamics, and AQP Journal describing new approaches to diffusing learning across organizations. His current research examines and develops initiatives that align improvements across multiple organizations, prioritizing changes in products and services within a specific value stream over local organizational factors. This current focus builds upon his ongoing research in organizational leadership, learning, change, and culture.

    Jay Rothman is a scholar and a practitioner of creative conflict engagement. Dr Rothman was trained in international relations and group dynamics and focuses his theoretical and applied work on issues of intergroup identity-based conflict and cooperation and action evaluation. He is Associate Professor in the Program on Conflict Management, Resolution and Negotiation at Bar Ilan University. He is also the President of the ARIA Group, Inc. ( He is the author of four books, including most recently, From Identity-Based Conflict to Identity-Based Cooperation (Springer, 2012).

    Jenny W. Rudolph is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. She directs the graduate programs of the Institute of Medical Simulation at the Center for Medical Simulation. With an emphasis on building humane yet rigorous, learning-oriented cultures in health care, Dr Rudolph creates, studies, and writes about feedback and debriefing conversations. Her work focuses on how to establish psychologically safe learning environments in which people feel able to work at the edge of their expertise. Dr Rudolph received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Boston College, Carroll School of Management, was a National Science Foundation Fellow, a Visiting Doctoral Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management System Dynamics Group, and got her BA in Sociology from Harvard College.

    Otto Scharmer is a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management. He is founding Chair of the Presencing Institute, a research community dedicated to social innovation. He is the founding Chair the MIT IDEAS Program, that takes leaders from civil society, government, and business from Indonesia and China on a nine-month action learning journey in order to co-create profound social innovation in their communities. With the German government and the Gross National Happiness Centre, a non-governmental organization in Bhutan, he co-founded the Global Well-being and Gross National Happiness Lab, which brings together innovative thinkers from developing and industrialized countries to prototype new ways of measuring well-being and social progress. He has worked with governments in Africa, Asia, and Europe and led leadership and innovation programs at corporations such as Alibaba, Daimler, Eileen Fisher, Fujitsu, Google, Natura, and PriceWaterhouse. Scharmer holds a PhD in Economics and Management from Witten-Herdecke University in Germany.

    Holly Scheib, PhD, MPH, MSW, is an international consultant and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, USA. Her consulting includes research, evaluation, organizational development, community development, social work, and public health programming for universities, NGOs, and multi-lateral agencies. Her work involves the study of community-level interventions in the lives of displaced and disadvantaged groups, specializing in participatory methods, action research, ethnography, and evaluation.

    Yumi Sera is the founder and President of Mindfulness in Action at the same time as being a student majoring in Law at Keio University in Japan. By presiding over the biggest Japanese retreat camp, Kikkake Project, she's been involved in developing education of mindfulness especially for university students. Yumi facilitated the Japan team at ALiA (Authentic Leadership in Action, in Halifax) summer institute 2014. There the focus was on expanding the use of body and other artistic expressions for training mindfulness and authenticity. Her recent activity and research focuses on developing intuition, mindfulness, authentic leadership, love and will, all by training the inner voice.

    Abraham B. (Rami) Shani is Professor of Management at Orfalea College of Business, California Polytechnic State University and Visiting Research Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is author, co-author and co-editor of over 20 books and 80 articles. Notable works include: Collaborative Research in Organizations (SAGE, 2004), the Handbook of Collaborative Management Research (SAGE, 2008), the Research in Organizational Change and Development series (Emerald), the Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness series (Emerald), Collaborative Management Research: toeria, metodi, experienze (Rafaello Cortina), the four-volume set, Fundamentals of Organization Development (SAGE, 2010) and the proposed four-volume set, Action Research in Business & Management (SAGE, 2015). He is on the editorial board of five journals.

    Howard Silverman teaches systems thinking in the Collaborative Design MFA Program at Pacific Northwest College of Art. For twelve years he was with Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit Ecotrust, working on food, fisheries, forestry, green building, regenerative finance, and climate initiatives. He is a partner in the scenarios, research, and design consultancy Pattern Labs and writes at Solving for Pattern.

    Diana McLain Smith is an independent consultant and action researcher committed to building exceptional leadership in the social sector. Until recently, she was senior partner of Leadership Transformation at New Profit Inc., a venture philanthropy firm that invests in reducing barriers to social and economic mobility. Prior to joining New Profit, Diana was a partner and thought leader at the Monitor Group, a global management consultancy. She has published dozens of articles and chapters, and she has authored three books: Divide or Conquer: How Great Teams Turn Conflict into Strength, The Elephant in the Room: How Relationships Make or Break the Success of Leaders and Organizations, and Action Science co-authored with Chris Argyris and Robert Putnam. She is a founding partner of Action Design, specializing in organizational learning and change, and a founding member of the Society of Organizational Learning. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees in Consulting Psychology at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

    Nicole A. Steckler, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Division of Management in Oregon Health & Science University's School of Medicine. She holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. Dr Steckler's expertise is in communication and collaboration across disciplines and organizational boundaries. She coaches academic leaders and health care professionals on increasing their leadership capacities and reaching their career goals. Within the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute she leads a mentoring skills program and teaches academic leadership courses in the Human Investigations Program. Dr Steckler has won awards for her teaching excellence; she currently teaches graduate courses on becoming an effective manager, leadership assessment and development, influence and communication skills, and managing people in health care organizations.

    Lisa Stefanac is a founding partner with Sequoia Change LLC, a change leadership consulting firm. At Sequoia, she specializes in leadership development, team effectiveness, and organizational change. She is also a Fellow with the Action Inquiry Associates. Lisa is a member of the NTL Institute and is an advanced designation facilitator of T-Groups in the Interpersonal Dynamics course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she has engaged in approximately 600 hours of T-Group. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Francisco State University with a BA in English Literature.

    Frederick Steier is on the faculty of the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida, where he previously served as Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Programs. He is the editor of the volume, Gregory Bateson: Essays for an Ecology of Ideas, and is currently also enjoying being a Scientist-in-Residence at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida, USA, where he is involved in participatory action research programs of collaborative learning and play, design of learning spaces in organizations, and museum–community relationships, making extensive use of World Café processes. A past President of the American Society for Cybernetics, he received his doctorate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in Social Systems Sciences, in 1983.

    Anne Stephens, PhD, is a post-doctoral senior researcher with the Northern Futures Collaborative Research Network based at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia. Anne is the author of Ecofeminism and Systems Thinking, Routledge (2013), and has authored dozens of research papers using participatory action research and systemic intervention practice as her primary methodological approach to problem solving in community and regional development, public health and education fields. Anne developed the Feminist-Systems Thinking principles as part of her PhD research, and has been adapting and modifying their use in action research, since their inception in 2009.

    Douglas M. Stevens, PhD, teaches English and Technology at Hughes STEM High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has worked as an advocate in urban education while teaching reading, English, and technology courses in grades seven through twelve. He researched and published a violence prevention curriculum ‘Project VIP: Violence is Preventable’ (1996) and founded ‘A Writer's Passion’ (2011), an enrichment program that publishes student writing and artwork. His research interests include technology access and equity, student voice empowerment, writing assessment, and school organizational culture with a focus on relational theory and teacher leadership.

    Danilo R. Streck is a Doctor of Education from Rutgers University, a Visiting Scholar at the Latin American Center, UCLA, and the Max Plank Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Professor at the Graduate School of Education of the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos), Brazil. Recent research projects focus on popular education, Latin American pedagogy, pedagogical mediations in participatory social processes, and participatory research methodologies. He is the author of A New Social Contract in a Latin American Educational Context (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), co-editor of Paulo Freire Encyclopedia (Rowman & Littlefied, 2012), and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Action Research.

    Ernie Stringer has an extensive background in education, including ten years as a primary teacher, and ten years in teacher education at Curtin University. At the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University (1986–2003) he engaged in action research projects and consultancies in schools, Aboriginal communities, government departments, non-government organizations and business corporations. In 1988 he assisted in the development of an Australian National Aboriginal Education Policy. He was contracted by UNICEF (2002–2005) to direct a highly successful community engagement project for the East Timor Department of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports. Through visiting appointments at universities in Illinois, New Mexico, Texas and New York he has maintained continuing connection with an international network of scholars in education, anthropology and sociology. He is author of numerous action texts and past President of the Action Learning, Action Research Association. For most of the past decade he was an Associate Editor of the Action Research journal, while engaging in action research activities with local Aboriginal people in the Ngaanyatjarra school system in Western Australia.

    Marja-Liisa Swantz, PhD, in University of Uppsala, began to develop the basic practices of Participatory Research as a Senior Researcher Fellow in the University of Dar es Salaam and coined the term participatory action research (PAR) that would later influence so many. While holding positions as Lecturer in Science of Religion and Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology in University of Helsinki she conducted extensive participatory research with women, engaged in village development, on health workers’ training and transfer of technology in Tanzania. Explaining why PAR, she says `because it is the most logical way of doing research on societal and community issues'. She has continued to participate in research in Tanzania while retired, living with her family in Finland.

    Jo Tacchi is Director of Research and Innovation at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) Europe in Barcelona. She is a media anthropologist who has, for more than a decade, focused on communication and development, largely in South Asia. In 2002, she developed ethnographic action research with colleagues Don Slater and Greg Hearn, later developed further through a research project with UNESCO, More recently, she adapted ethnographic action research (EAR) to develop a participatory monitoring and evaluation methodology, using a participatory action research (PAR) approach, with June Lennie, for Equal Access, Her most recent book is Evaluating Communication for Development: A Framework for Social Change (Routledge, 2013).

    Rajesh Tandon is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. He founded Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a voluntary organization providing support to grassroots initiatives in South Asia and has been its Chief Functionary since 1982. He has recently been appointed co-Chair of the prestigious UNESCO Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. He has championed the cause of building organizations and capacities of the marginalized through their knowledge, learning and empowerment. He has contributed to the emergence of several local, national and international groups and initiatives to promote authentic and participatory development of societies. He has authored more than 100 articles, a dozen books and numerous training manuals on democratic governance, civic engagement, civil society, governance and management of NGOs, participatory research and people-centred development. For his distinguished work on gender issues, the Government of India honoured him with the prestigious Award in Social Justice in March, 2007. The University of Victoria, Canada, awarded Dr Tandon the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) in June 2008. He is the first Indian to be inducted to the International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame (class of 2010).

    Steven S. Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Foisie School of Business at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. His research focuses on the aesthetics of organizational action and reflective practice. Recently his academic work has focused on theorizing what business can learn from the arts and management as craft. He is the author of the books Leadership Craft, Leadership Art, and You're a Genius: Using Reflective Practice to Master the Craft of Leadership. He is the founding editor of the journal Organizational Aesthetics. Steve is also a playwright whose work has been performed in England, France, Poland, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, and the USA.

    Bill Torbert is currently a principal of Action Inquiry Associates and Professor Emeritus at Boston College. Recent recognitions include: (1) the 2012 re-publication of his 2005 Harvard Business Review (HBR) article as one of HBR's top ten leadership reads ever; (2) the 2013 Center for Creative Leadership Walter F. Ulmer Jr. Award for Career Contributions to Applied Leadership Research; and (3) the 2014 Chris Argyris Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Management. Having taken his BA and PhD degrees at Yale, he later directed the Theatre of Inquiry, taught at Southern Methodist University and Harvard, and held numerous consulting and board positions.

    Alfonso Torres Carrillo is a Columbian social researcher with a master's degree in History and a doctorate in Latin American Studies. Since 1985 he has been a Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the National Pedagogical University of Columbia, where he teaches in the Master's in Social Studies and the Doctorate in Education programs. He helps organizations and social movements in generating knowledge from their experiences. His areas of research are social movements, popular education, and participatory research. He has published many journal articles from his research, and several books including: Qualitative and Participatory Approaches in Social Science; Social Movements, Popular Organization and the Constitution of Subjects; Identity and Politics of Collective Action. Most recently El retorno a la comunidad (The Return to Community) (2013).

    Emily van der Meulen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Her research interests include the criminalization of sexual labour, gendered experiences of surveillance, and prison health and harm reduction. She completed her doctorate in Women's Studies at York University, Toronto. Titled ‘Sex for Work: How Policy Affects Sexual Labour, an Argument for Labour Legitimacy and Social Change', her dissertation was an action research study with Canada's oldest sex worker-run organization, Maggie's: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, where she served on the board of directors for over four years. She recently co-edited an anthology of writings by sex workers, allies, and academics entitled, Selling Sex: Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada (UBC Press, 2013).

    Steve Waddell, MBA and PhD from Boston College, responds to the twenty-first century's enormous global challenges, realizing its unsurpassed opportunities require new ways of acting and organizing. For 30 years Steve has been supporting this with organizational, network, and societal change and development. He does this through NetworkingAction with collaborative consultations, education, research, and personal leadership. For the last 10 years he's focused largely on multi-stakeholder global change networks (Global Action Networks). Currently he is deeply engaged with development of Ecosystems Labs as loosely network global change platforms.

    Sandra Waddock is Galligan Chair of Strategy, Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility, and Professor of Management at Boston College's Carroll School of Management. Waddock has published 11 books and more than 100 papers on corporate responsibility/citizenship, multi-sector collaboration, and management education. Current research interests include intellectual shamanism, wisdom, system change, and stewardship of the future. She received the 2011 Bradford Outstanding Educator Award from Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, the 2005 Faculty Pioneer Award for External Impact by Aspen Institute, and the 2004 Sumner Marcus Award for Distinguished Service from the Social Issues in Management Division of the Academy of Management, among others. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia; the Harvard Kennedy School; and the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia. Her latest book is Intellectual Shamans (Cambridge, 2015).

    Yoland Wadsworth has been a pioneer research and evaluation practitioner, consultant, participatory inquiry facilitator and theorist for 42 years and authored Australia's best-selling methodology texts – Do It Yourself Social Research and Everyday Evaluation on the Run (1984 and 1991, both 3rd edn, 2011, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California). Her work has focused on developing full-cycle inquiry methodologies, including dialogic and complex systemic inquiry for collaborative change and improvement in health, community and human services, culminating in 2004 in a transdisciplinary meta-epistemology (published as Building in Research and Evaluation: Human Inquiry for Living Systems, 2011). She is Adjunct Professor, Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University; Principal Fellow, McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, University of Melbourne; Fellow of the Australasian Evaluation Society; life member, international Action Learning Action Research Association; faculty partner, RCRC Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University and Distinguished Fellow, Action Research Center, University of Cincinnati.

    Tom Wakeford is Reader in Public Science at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University. During his twenty years as a participatory action researcher, he has worked with a range of social movements. His particular focus has been addressing local and global problems in collaboration with those who derive their knowledge from life experience, but who have often had this expertise excluded by professionally trained researchers. His academic research interests include dialogue, deliberation and drama; ecology and food sovereignty; participatory democratic processes and citizen science. He acts as an advisor to the European Commission on citizen engagement and science communication. He is Editorial Board member of Citizen Science (Ubiquity Press) and Editorial Advisory Board member of Action Research (SAGE Publications). His publications include Science for the Earth (Wiley, 1995), Liaisons of Life (Wiley, 2001) and Empowered Participation (IIED, 2008).

    Erin Walcon is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Exeter. Her PhD, titled ‘Vital Spaces/Vital Signs: Young People, Performance, Identity and Dialogue', explored the ways in which young people's participatory performance could serve as a powerful meaning-making and dialogic space for conversations about identity. The ultimate aim of the project, which is ongoing, is to open up spaces for dialogue between young adult populations and local authority or power structures, culminating in a set of participatory action research projects conducted in partnership with young people as co-researchers. Additionally, Erin is co-Director of Doorstep Arts, a Torbay-based participatory arts organisation which works to develop develop resilience in the region, building links with national touring partners, and catalysing opportunities for young people's engagement.

    Nancy C. Wallis holds a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems and is an organization behavior and theory faculty member at Pitzer College, Pepperdine University, Danube University, and the Center for Creative Leadership. She is the Chair of the Doctoral Consortium in the Management Consulting Division of the Academy of Management. Her article on Individualized Leadership was nominated for best paper in Leadership Quarterly in 2011. Over the past 30 years Nancy has concentrated her managerial and consulting roles, executive leadership coaching, and university teaching on the practice and development of leadership in first-, second-, and third-person contexts within complex and vibrant organizational settings. Selected as a founding Action Inquiry Associate, she specializes in leadership development that leverages the boundary between individual and organizational transformation.

    Jack Whitehead is a Living Educational Theorist based in the UK. Previously at the University of Bath, he is now a Visiting Professor at the University of Cumbria, UK and at Ningxia Teachers University in Ningxia, China. He originated the idea that individuals could create their own explanations of their educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others and in the learning of the social formations in which their enquiries are located, as their living-educational-theories. He pioneered the use of digital, multi-media narratives for clarifying and evolving the meanings of the expression of embodied values in explanations of educational influence, in research degrees. The resources on his web-site are an international resource for action researchers who are generating their own living-theories with values that carry hope for the flourishing of humanity. These theories are generated from enquiries of the kind, ‘How do I improve what I am doing'? in which ‘I’ exists as a living contradiction.

    Susan Wright is Professor of Educational Anthropology at the Department of Education (DPU), Aarhus University. She studies people's participation in large-scale processes of transformation. Since 2003 she has researched academics', managers', and policymakers’ engagement with Danish university reforms. Previously, in the UK, universities were one of several sites through which she studied changing forms of governance since the 1980s. Informing all her work are insights gained from studies of political transformation in Iran before and after the Islamic Revolution. She is currently coordinator of ‘Universities in the Knowledge Economy’ an EU FP7 ITN project with 31 partners, 12 PhD candidates and three post-doctoral Fellows. Her latest book is Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Anatomy of Contemporary Power (co-editors Shore and Peró, Berghahn, 2011).

    Lyle Yorks is Associate Professor in the Department of Organization and Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University, where he teaches courses in adult learning, human resource development, and research. His research interests include a focus on action research, cooperative/collaborative inquiry, and adult development through action inquiry. Articles authored and co-authored by Lyle have appeared in the Action Research journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Education and Learning, California Management Review, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Systemic Practice & Action Research, Teachers College Record, Sloan Management Review and other scholarly and professional journals. Among his professional publications are a co-authored book, Collaborative Inquiry in Practice and a co-edited issue of New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Collaborative Inquiry as a Strategy for Adult Learning. Lyle earned master's degrees from Vanderbilt University and Columbia University and his doctorate from Columbia University.

    Introduction: How to Situate and Define Action Research

    Action research is a democratic and participative orientation to knowledge creation. It brings together action and reflection, theory and practice, in the pursuit of practical solutions to issues of pressing concern. Action research is a pragmatic co-creation of knowing with, not on about, people.

    How does action research contrast with conventional research?

    Action researchers nearly always start with a question, such as ‘How can we improve this situation'? We are committed to doing good work that minimizes suffering and brings appreciable, positive impact through the collaborative character of our work. Beyond privileging cognitive understanding, action researchers draw on and contribute to an ever-increasing repertoire of experiential practices at personal, interpersonal, and/or collective levels, allowing us to address complex problems while also giving attention to coordinating needed action.

    No single formulation of action research can be correct, but Table I.1 nonetheless compares action research with both conventional and applied research to give a taste of overlapping and important differences. This table (developed with colleagues Steve Waddell and Kent Glenzer as we thought together about large-scale change work) aims to be a conversation starter without sacrificing too much complexity.

    Action researchers also see our work as a response to conventional social science which, with some exceptions, is losing relevance for the larger public and too often reinforces the status quo. Our work as action researchers is well positioned to revitalize social science through our concern for taking action (actionability) toward positive impact. Action researchers understand that partnership and participation are central to our work. As important is reflexivity, i.e. taking a critical stance on what limits and enables our own and others’ participation.

    Table I.1 Action Research Comparison

    Does action research complement or clash with conventional social science?

    While conventional inquiry methods have not kept pace with our changing world, this Handbook illustrates how the action research repertoire already brings tremendous value in responding to the big issues of our time. There is yet plenty of room for more work and partnership with our conventionally trained colleagues.

    ‘Conventional science', as sketched in Table I.1, suggests post-Cartesian, objectivist descriptions of the world. Dualism abounds: knowledge is presumed to be pitted against practice, mind separated from heart, reflection from action, expert from lay person, self from other, etc. These dualisms – the result of the ‘Cartesian Catastrophe’ – are not mere philosophizing. Kant challenged us to Enlightenment's ‘sapere aude!’ (daring to know!), but the conduct of inquiry devolved to Bacon's call to conquer nature. Dualistic formulas (e.g. mind versus nature), abetted by ever more powerful technical know-how, have yielded objectivist practices that display a conquering attitude. Action researchers, who orient with a different set of assumptions, bring a more participative, democratic, and practical response to the issues of our time. We do this not to be nice, or politically correct, but because the nature of life, power, structural exclusion, and inter-generational injustice demands it.

    Impossibly complex physics manage to influence popular imagination and the conduct of inquiry and its application. If, after Newton, philosophers and social engineers conceived a clockwork universe of particles that acted as billiard balls, it was natural that, say, in my field of management, individuals came to be treated as particles – or perhaps the metaphor here is cogs in a big machine to be fitted into vast bureaucratic systems. Ignoring that the world is emergent and interactive, the result was fragmentation throughout. Fragmentation has also marred the practice of inquiry, with central stakeholders treated as obstructions to objective insights. Thus, we have conventional health care research that excludes patients, and conventional education research that excludes students. In truth, fragmentations and dualisms are mere social constructions, but they have taken on a life of their own. Today we grapple with the implications of quantum physics and subatomic swirl. It is now timely to conceive of coordination of participative inquiry and action through webs of collaboration – the basic orientation of action research – rather than heavy-handed social engineering – as we seek sustainable outcomes for all. The term ‘conventional science’ is used throughout this text in contrast to the participative inquiry and emergent cooperation of action research.

    Action research also helps respond to the conventional disconnect between mainstream scholarship and teaching/practice. Action researchers represent the possibility of re-enchanting knowledge creation for a flourishing world. We are called to engage with, rather than merely understand, the unprecedented and compounding challenges that surround us, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, globalization, the ethical use of technology, the information technology revolution, and fundamentalism of all types. Action researchers are concerned with the conduct and application of research but, unlike applied researchers, we engage stakeholders in defining problems, planning and doing research, interpreting results, designing actions, and evaluating outcomes. We step beyond applied research into the democratization of research processes, program design, implementation strategies, and evaluation.

    When good action research happens, stakeholders within a system learn that they can inquire rigorously into the world. We learn that we don't need experts to do it for us (though scholarly training can be quite helpful). As consciousness of our planetary problems rises, and we understand more clearly how global challenges are anchored in local problems, and vice-versa, it is better to have more citizens capable of developing practical knowledge. And conventional scholars who long for more relevance for their work may find it by working with action researchers.

    Action research, then, takes its place within a diverse ecology of inquiry. We certainly need ‘conventional science’ for its ability to tease out causal relationships and refine existing theories, as if reality were also objectifiable. Action research, then, takes its place within a diverse ecology of inquiry. Ecologists warn us against monocultures because resilience and sustainability are a product of diversity. If knowledge creators of all species could learn to self-organize we might effectively nudge complex adaptive systems in better – rather than worse – directions. Ecologists warn us against monocultures because resilience and sustainability are a product of diversity.

    There are so many kinds of action research. Why the proliferation?

    The present state of the world is such that an action-oriented, participative, experimental approach to knowledge creation is highly desirable. The very nature of our global problems – the intractable, complex, politicized, nonlinear problems – is ever morphing. Central to action research is our experimenting with new ways of working within the complexity in any knowledge-production situation. A first glance at action research reveals an alphabet soup of practices (the recent SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research represents these well). Many of us work as academics and consultants and action researchers, and we therefore mix practices to match situations. Let's think of action researchers as constituting a movement that is committed to alternative models for the creation of transformational knowledge. Acronyms abound, representing a formalization of experiments across multiple contexts: participatory action research (PAR); feminist participatory action research (FPAR); rural participatory research (RPR); and critical participatory action research (CPAR), to name but a few. Others await you in the pages of this Handbook. Beyond mere territoriality, the proliferation of action research practices manifests the fundamental values and innovations that constitute our evolving community.

    I often find the metaphor of family appropriate for describing the community of action researchers: how we come together, partner, sometimes separate, and develop practices in response to a situation that together constitutes an alternative paradigm of transformational knowledge creation. Like all families, we may compete for status. We may disagree and fall out. We may (more embarrassingly) not recognize a distant relative. It is my hope (as a middle sister, perhaps, in the large family of action researchers) that with renewed vigor, more of us may meet, greet, and work together more frequently.

    How does action research relate to other liberation efforts?

    Action researchers have much in common with pragmatist critique (e.g. the Frankfurt School) and with social action movements (e.g. feminisms and liberation movements of all stripes). In overcoming another salient dualism, that of reflection and action, action researchers walk a middle path between the former's reflective observation and the latter's engaged activism. Ours is too often a misunderstood and even maligned position. Habermas, the leading voice of the Frankfurt school, warns scholars away from our type of practice; engaged activists warn against theory generation. While we recognize that theory must be addressed in its own terms, we also know that endless talk about theory divorced from practice is the result of the inability to achieve the alchemy of reflection and action. So while our theoretical groundings are informed by the postmodernist deconstructing of classical theorizing, which privileged the objective observer with his ostensibly value-free language and logical deduction/generalization, we also know that criticism is not enough. We know ourselves as creative beings; we innovate beyond current conditions with varying degrees of awareness and success, toward ways of living that are somehow better for more of us. This Handbook is intended to support that innovation.

    It is both exciting and useful to wonder what will be different when the action research orientation to knowledge creation becomes sustainably ‘mainstream'. How would knowledge-creation enterprises and policymaking work in this new world? How would our organizations, stock markets, and governments operate? How would the G-8 function, the UN? Might the institutional, community and ecological decay we have seen in this lifetime be addressed, constructively, collaboratively? I invite you to think in those terms as you move into the Handbook.

    What is the intellectual-practice lineage of action research?

    The term ‘action research’ was coined by John Collier. Today it is common to speak of two origins of action research. They are, however, quite intertwined. One account starts with Kurt Lewin, rooted in efforts to address human complicity in the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. Father of social psychology, Lewin stumbled, through collaboration, into bringing observers (e.g. research facilitators) and research subjects (e.g. therapeutic groups) together to share, understand, and create new patterns of interaction. The other account centers on the collaboration of Orlando Fals Borda (in Columbia) working with Anis Rahman (in Bangladesh), where action research went hand-in-hand with popular liberation movements. Since the 1970s, explicit concern with social liberation has been a central component of all action research. Without this emancipatory concern action research is devitalized to a set of uncritical techniques.

    I find it encouraging to know that action research can trace its core orientation back to Aristotle, whose notions of multiple ways of knowing included what we might call the primacy of the practical (techne) and cultivation of cycles of action and reflection (praxis). Knowing includes the heart. The heart–mind dualism of the rational-scientific age did not infect Aristotle. Classical Greek insistence that knowledge moves toward wisdom and ethical action (phronesis) would have been perfectly familiar to Aristotle. As the first rediscovery of Aristotle ushered in the European Renaissance, so again may the recognition that the action researchers orientation to knowledge seeks to integrate the true, the good, and the beautiful and leads to integrating knowledge types beyond current conventional formulations.

    If the dualisms that warp Western post-Enlightenment inquiry were never sundered in the foundational work of Aristotle, the same holds true for Lao Tzu and Confucius (the Asian equivalents of Socrates and Aristotle?), and Buddha (the Asian equivalent of Plato?) whose ideas reverberate, indeed are strongly resurgent, in contemporary Asian thought (e.g. the Kyoto School). And while these remain too little known among action researchers, the notable uptake of the Asian concept/practice of mindfulness, which shapes especially many of the Skills chapters, is especially auspicious as we allow concerns for harmony to influence our work. Interestingly, the Chinese character for mind is one and the same as the character for heart: 心. Perhaps the heart–mind in action researchers’ work can help engender collaborations that can yet save us. For it certainly seems that we live amid techno-rational systems and infrastructure increasingly at odds with the sustainable patterns of the natural world (be it our reliance on fossil fuels to the flourishing of fundamentalisms). The result of seeking short-term security and well-being for a minority is proving unsustainable for us as interconnected communities in the Global Village.

    Appreciating epistemological diversity

    Like many of my colleagues, I came to action research because it offered a way of creating knowledge that made sense to me. Action research practices did not ask me to abandon what I considered crucial to knowledge creation: relationships, cultivation of skillful practice, democratic/feminist values, engagement with big issues, delight in spending time with other spirited activists of backgrounds ranging from anthropologists to philosophers, human care providers to change agents of all stripes. Under the ‘big tent’ of action research, I noticed a shared interest in moving human institutions beyond pervasive inequality, inequity, and patriarchal injustice; with a commitment to bringing skillful practice, intellectual integrity, and empirical evidence to that action.

    I took inspiration from knowledge generated in practice that successfully addresses itself to power inequalities. Proto-action researchers inspired me, such as Ignaz Semmelweis, Donald Henderson, and Joanna Macy. Semmelweis (1818–1865) taught me that revolution in practice, even if cognitively simple, may be far from simple to implement. He recognized that maternal mortality was three times higher in doctors’ wards than in midwives’ wards; unlike his fellow physicians, however, he was open to learning with the midwives. His recommendation was that doctors wash their hands between patients. Simple! But he was met with vehement defensiveness. Semmelweis died in an asylum, still relatively young (perhaps a reminder to keep aspirations lofty and expectations low).

    In the 1970s, Donald Henderson led the WHO team that eradicated smallpox. The vaccine predated the eradication by over a century but had failed in the field. Henderson however brought skill with cultivating collaborative networks, and was able to accord local knowledge the same weight as the original scientific advances in immunology. Combining insight and artistry, leadership and participation, he thus led in realizing a cure the world over.

    Joanna Macy has connected systems thinking, spirituality, and ecology, with great skill in inspiring people with innovative practices that open hearts and minds (there is no separation). Her integration of the personal with the professional felt very important.

    These examples remind us that impactful inquiry is so much more than cognitive insight. Since we published the first Handbook of Action Research, many action researchers have seen the value of what Heron and Reason called ‘extended epistemology', which calls us to go beyond privileging cognitive propositions to acknowledge the importance of experience, artistry, intuition and practical contribution. In a similar vein of expanding the strictures of what counts as important in inquiry, we have the potency of Torbert's concept of first, second, and third person action research/practice. The value of these frameworks is in acknowledging the equal legitimacy of multiple epistemological claims for what they offer in practical contribution to self and other. When action researchers think of epistemology we understand the impoverishment of having only the objective voice of conventional social science. We are called to consider how multiple epistemological voices can be better integrated to serve our inquiry and our co-inquirers.

    What are the core characteristics and principles of action research?

    All knowledge is political in the sense that as shapers of discourse we exercise agency in our efforts to do and describe action research. This applies acutely to the shaping of discourse on what constitutes quality. Far too rarely is the purpose of knowledge even debated. Because what is taken for granted does not have to explain itself, it just ‘is', action researchers are called to influence the assumptions but perhaps more importantly to experiment with, create, and offer helpful practices around knowledge creation.

    Key characteristics, originally articulated with Peter Reason for this Handbook's first edition, have withstood the test of time. Action research is emergent and developmental. It concerns practical issues and human flourishing. Its modality is primarily participative and democratic, working with participants and toward knowledge in action.

    In articulating principles of contemporary action research, a starting point is that human beings find ourselves without easily defined boundaries as, experientially, we are never alone. From a physical standpoint, we are constantly metabolizing resources (air, water) in relationship with the world that is apparently, though not materially, outside ourselves. So too we live in relationship with social, emotional, cognitive, historical resources. Complex, intractable, nonlinear problems (climate change, structural inequality, etc.) are in part created by treating people as atoms, as billiard balls, as if their subjectivity doesn't matter, as if the ‘system’ has nothing to do with our intersubjectivity. Honoring plural subjectivity has been central to the Western Pragmatist tradition of James and Dewey (and the Asian tradition where it's referred to as ‘no (separate) self'). We may state a first principle of contemporary action research then that the self is relational.

    We are a species graced with capacity for partnership and collaboration (along with easily awakened tendencies to dominate). Over the centuries, our human systems have slowly supported collaboration on a wide scale (e.g. democracy and liberation movements). Spectacles that celebrate domination have been relegated to the margins of the civilized world (though atrocities remain worryingly frequent). In truth, institutionalizing collaborative structures remains difficult to achieve because we have inherited both psychological and cultural habits that impede collaboration, especially where there is resource scarcity. Our habit patterns are combinations of social structure (injustice, exclusion) and individual bias (black and white thinking, short-term tribal logic, fear). So much of our work as action researchers is, therefore, to acknowledge the systems of interconnection we live within, and how they have operated over time, then see how to remove trenchant obstacles to collaboration. Seeing what is ‘out there', we so often turn to find that it is also ‘in here'. Seeing independences in systems allows us to appreciate the deeper patterns at play, and to consider how we might do things differently, over time. Appreciating the temporal quality of our inquiry and its embeddedness in systems reminds us to be humble, yet persevering. We may state the second principle of contemporary action research that our systems seek wholeness over time, moving beyond obsolete fragmentation.

    And what is it all for? Action researchers care about social action that is practical and emancipatory. Finding ourselves in relationship within complex emergent systems, we seek to make a positive difference, to minimize suffering, to work toward justice, to muddle through. Practical knowing offers a culmination of knowing that emerges when we balance science and artistry. We bring our knowing to fruition as a contribution for self and others. A third principle of contemporary action research is the primacy of practical contribution.

    Table I.2 offers these characteristics and principles.

    Table I.2 Characteristics and Principles of Action Research
    The self is relational.Participative. Democratic. Knowledge in action.
    Systems seek wholeness.Emergent. Developmental.
    The primacy of the practical.Practical issues concerning our flourishing
    How do we know when we are doing good action research?

    The following seven criteria are the product of a ‘collogue’ among editors of Action Research journal on what constitutes ‘quality in action research'. We developed these from the original formulation of quality choice points in the Handbook's second edition.

    • Quality requires articulation of objectives. The extent to which the action research explicitly addresses its objectives.
    • Quality requires partnership and participation. The extent to and means by which the action research reflects or enacts participative values and concern for the relational component of research. By the extent of participation, we are referring to a continuum from consultation with stakeholders to stakeholders as full co-researchers.
    • Quality requires contribution to action research theory–practice. The extent to which the action research builds on (creates explicit links with) or contributes to a wider body of practice knowledge and/or theory, that it contributes to the action research literature.
    • Quality requires appropriate methods and process. The extent to which the action research process and related methods are clearly articulated and illustrated. By illustrated we mean that empirical papers ‘show’ and not just ‘tell’ about process and outcomes by including analysis of data that includes the voices of participants in the research.
    • Quality requires actionability. The extent to which the action research provides new ideas that guide action in response to need.
    • Quality requires reflexivity. The extent to which self-location as a change agent is acknowledged. By self-location we mean that authors take a personal, involved, and self-critical stance as reflected in clarity about their role in the action research process, clarity about the context in which the research takes place, and clarity about what led to their involvement in this research.
    • Quality requires significance. The extent to which the insights of the action research are significant in content and process. By significant we mean having meaning and relevance beyond their immediate context in support of the flourishing of persons, communities, and the wider ecology.
    Why a third edition Handbook of Action Research?

    Action research's ‘arrival’ is celebrated in this volume as we name and acknowledge our contributions and seek to complement the dominant conventional forms of research. Earlier editions of the Handbook (and the related journal of Action Research) ongoingly shape discussion and practice in constructive ways. In truth they are more similar to volumes than to editions because most content is new or else completely revised. We are, after all, an emergent and responsive field, always adaptively learning.

    For me, the Handbook's first edition managed to convene the many actors in the global field of action research. We began to see ourselves, for the first time, as a community. The second edition turned the spotlight on action research quality, giving more attention to research rigor and learning from each other. This volume, the third, aims to address the relationship between action research and conventional social research, and to define it as complementary rather than competitive. It does so by updating and refreshing practical action research approaches (Practices), presenting and celebrating successes that could only be realized through action research (Exemplars), articulating philosophical underpinnings (Groundings), and discussing some of the crucial competencies of an action researcher (Skills). We include familiar and new voices. You will find more diversity of geography and ethnicity represented. Some topics previously untreated, such as working with the complexities of sexuality to the challenge and promise of new media, have become more urgent now. Generally then this volume brings refreshment and expansion to the global action research community. More detailed chapter introductions will come in the section introductions.

    Striking to me is to see a new generation articulate, update, and expand familiar Practices. Exemplars tell of impactful work that has happened over decades. The Skills section especially is much expanded over previous volumes. This is as it should be as there is so often a significant gap between intellectual self-knowledge and the ability to take skillful, timely action. Intellectual analysis and description only go so far in pointing the way. Skillful action research calls for the alchemical work of opening the heart and understanding complex systems, for bringing awareness to the role of facilitation and for working with power, for taking qualitative and quantitative skills of interviewing and data collection, and then mobilizing these in a way that offers a positive contribution. It is my hope that ongoing attention to capacity- and skills-building for the current and future generations of action researchers meets some of the high demands we place on ourselves and signals the sophisticated nature of our work.

    How is the Handbook organized?

    There are four Parts in the Handbook that follows: Practices, Exemplars, Groundings, and Skills. We open with Practices, to signal appreciation for what we accomplish with others as we ‘walk the talk’ in our work.

    Each Part is introduced with an essay by the colleagues who partnered with me as section editor. Thank you to Alfredo Ortiz Aragón and Tere Castillo-Burguete, who helped edit Practices. Thank you to Svante Lifvergren and Kent Glenzer, who helped edit Exemplars. Thank you to Dusty Embury, who helped edit Skills. I edited Groundings.

    What's next?

    In an age of social media and online interactivity the future will simply emerge, repeatedly. No doubt, our work will be modified and improved. To this end, we created the website as a companion to this Handbook: all are welcome to participate, no matter what stage of the action research journey you find yourself in. I hope that crowdsourcing and digital media may provide the action research community with useful tools and innovative ways of working well beyond this static text.


    A bow of appreciation to all action researchers who have created the path we walk on. I am especially grateful for the inspiration I received from my mentors, the pathmakers Bill Torbert, Peter Reason, and Peter Senge. Thank you also to Bj⊘rn Gustavsen, whose work at a distance illustrated what was possible in large networks of change.

    For the preparation of this Handbook I am grateful especially to my colleagues on the board of the Action Research journal with whom a decade and more of work together shapes my thinking, teaching, and practice of action research. Thank you Alfredo Ortiz, Annabel D'Souza Sekar, Davydd Greenwood, Dusty Embury, Hok Bun Ku, Karim Aly Kassam, Kent Glenzer, Mary Brydon-Miller, Patricia Gaya, Svante Lifvergren, Tere Castillo, and Victor Friedman.


    The book is dedicated to my daughter and the next generation of action researchers who inherit, along with our impossible mess, some inspiration for inquiring into and designing a better way of living and working together, a way more worthy of our aspiration. May this Handbook inspire new capacity.

    Hilary Bradbury, Portland, OR


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