The third edition of the SAGE Handbook of Action Research presents a fully updated version of the bestselling text, including new chapters written by key figures in the field covering emerging areas in healthcare, social work, education and international development, as well as an expanded ‘skills’ section which includes new consultant-relevant materials. Building on the strength of the previous editions, editor Hilary Bradbury has carefully developed the third edition to take a strong international approach to the topic of action research and thus expanding the already-impressive scale and scope of the work. In essence, the third edition follows in the footsteps of the landmark previous editions by mapping the current state of the discipline, as well as looking to the future of the field and exploring the issues at the cutting edge of the action research paradigm today. This volume is an essential resource for scholars and professionals engaged in social and political inquiry, organizational research and education.
Chapter 43: Complex Systems and Emergence in Action Research
Emergence is a term often used in action research, most commonly referring to something that arises out of a complex system, e.g. an emerging recognition, an emerging pattern of action, or an emerging trend or relationship. In qualitative research, a theory emerges through the subtle detection of patterns across the data, which lead to a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. In a formal sense, emergence occurs when a new structure or pattern arises in the system of action.
Emergence has more tangible meanings as well. For example, in entrepreneurship, organizational emergence refers to the creation of new ventures – the start-up of a new organization. In organization science more broadly, researchers ...