• University College Dublin

    The 8th Action Research Colloquium

  • OBrien Science Centre

    University College Dublin - O’Brien Science Centre

  • June 19th & 20th 2014

    June 28th to 29th June 2018

The 8th Action Research Colloquium

The central theme for the 2018 Colloquium is:
“Developing Leadership through Action Research”

The Action Research Colloquium provides a forum for practitioners, academic staff and researchers to meet and engage in conversations about their work. Building on the success of previous Colloquia the format has a focus on sharing and exploring issues that arise when working with action research in the kinds of real world contexts within which researchers are engaged. The Colloquium brings together people from diverse fields including business, industry, tourism, education and healthcare.

The colloquium ethos is participative and the idea of "creating conversations" is a core element of the event. The programme is structured to facilitate discussion and sharing experiences in plenary and parallel sessions. It is designed as a two-day event which includes, for those interested a doctoral workshop and a workshop on Methods to Enhance Conversations in Action Research.

Masterclass: Professor M B Miller

Mary Brydon-Miller, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. She is a participatory action researcher who conducts work in both school and community settings. Her current research focuses on research ethics in educational and community settings. She is the editor, with David Coghlan, of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research and has recently completed work on a book on ethical challenges in the context of participatory research with her colleague Sarah Banks from Durham University. Her next major project focuses on working with middle-school students from around the world to engage as citizen scientists to better understand the impacts of global climate change.

The Masterclass will be held on Wednesday 27th June from 16.00-18.00. This year’s masterclass is entitled “Seven Unanswered Questions: An Exploration of Ethics in Participatory Research”

In an upcoming book, Ethics in participatory research for health and social well-being: Cases and commentaries, Sarah Banks and Mary Brydon-Miller have gathered together a set of case studies that explore unresolved issues related to ethics in the context of community-based research. These cases and the discussions that frame them focus around seven major challenges facing researchers working in these more collaborative and democratic research contexts:

  • Partnership, collaboration, and power
  • Blurring the boundaries between researcher and researched, academic and activist
  • Community rights, conflict, and democratic representation
  • Co-ownership, dissemination, and impact
  • Anonymity, privacy, and confidentiality
  • Institutional ethical review processes
  • Social action for social change

This Masterclass will challenge participants to consider the issues raised in the cases around each of these themes and how they think they might respond in similar situations

Workshop 1: Doctoral Seminar

Apre-colloquium doctoral seminar will be held on Thursday 28th June from 10.00 to 12.00. This seminar is restricted to registered doctoral students. Intending participants need to pre-register for the seminar and submit a 2-3 page abstract of their doctoral work and identify an issue or question that they wish to bring to the seminar and on which they will seek help during the seminar. The seminar will be facilitated by Dr Mary Casey and Prof David Coghlan and other experienced faculty.

Workshop 2:

Action research & Action Learning. Active Research is well established as an approach to working collaboratively with others to make changes on an issue of mutual interest, at the same time enquiring into generating research about that organisation system. Action learning has many similar qualities, but has more customary application to professional, management and leadership learning and development. Yet in recent years action learning has been linked more closely with action research, both as a method of generating evidence and as a mechanism for providing critical friend support to researchers.

In this session presented by Dr Clare Rigg, University of Liverpool and Dr Denise O'Leary, DIT, we will introduce both approaches and explore how they can complement each other for organisation research and development. The approach we will take will combine some input of key ideas with experiential practice.

Workshop 3

Exploring first person action research tools and methods – a hands on and participative workshop – to create a ‘chocolate box’ of ideas to take home with Dr Helena Mary Kettleborough

The challenges facing humanity can seem overwhelming in relation to climate change, biodiversity loss, social justice and peace. This workshop explores the contribution of action research and first person action research, to addressing how humanity can work towards a sustainable world. The workshop adopts a participative approach, inviting all learners to see themselves as having a key role to play in making these ideas happen in organisations and communities. Some characteristics of action research will be explored, including awareness of power relations and working with cycles of action and reflection. First person action research methods studied will include ‘living life as inquiry’ and ‘inner and outer arcs of attention’. The idea of writing as inquiry will be introduced, exploring free fall writing. Participants will be introduced to a first person practice of ‘bearing witness’ which can be used to develop empathy with the other species and beings with whom we share the planet. Within the workshop, there will be an opportunity to work with the concept and examine recommendations for establishing as a bedrock for practice.

Participants will be encouraged to work individually to explore the first person action research methods presented. This will be matched with working in small groups to share ideas and reflections on the research methods studied. Some critiques of action research and first person action research will be offered alongside quality criteria and participants invited to address the issues collectively.

The workshop will draw out how first person action research can help individuals, researchers and managers working towards creating a better world. Participants will be encouraged to explore how they can develop first person action research methods in their own work, creating their own ‘chocolate box’ of ideas to take home.

Registration & More Information

R egister here for the 2018 Action Research Colloquium.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Joe Raelin Joe Raelin is an internationally-recognized scholar in the fields of work-based learning and leadership. He is most known for connecting collective learning to collective leadership via a range of methodologies, from action learning to critical dialogue. He joins others who seek to deconstruct leadership from its identity as an individual trait and bolster its view as an immanent process and product of those contributing to an endeavor of import who together decide on their responsibilities. Joe contributes to this practice perspective of leadership, now referred to as “leadership-as-practice,” by developing his own democratic version, known as “leaderful practice.” It calls for the co-creation of community by all who are involved interdependently in its development.

A prolific writer, Joe has written for the leading management journals, among which are some seminal works cited liberally in his fields. Among his books are the classics: The Clash of Cultures: Managers Managing Professionals, Work-Based Learning: Bridging Knowledge and Action in the Workplace, and Creating Leaderful Organizations: How to Bring Out Leadership in Everyone. He is recipient of the international 2010 David Bradford Outstanding Educator Award from the MOBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators as well as the 2013 North-American CEIA James W. Wilson Award for outstanding contributions to research in the field of cooperative education.

Joe’s publications are available on google scholar

Keynote Speaker

David Coghlan David Coghlan is a Professor Emeritus and Fellow Emeritus at the Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He specializes in organization development and action research and is active in both communities internationally. He has published over 150 articles and book chapters. Recent books include: Inside Organizations (Sage, 2016), Organizational Change and Strategy (Routledge, 2016), Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization (4th ed. Sage, 2014), Collaborative Strategic Improvement through Network Action Learning (Edward Elgar, 2011). He is co-editor of The Sage Encyclopaedia of Action Research (2014) and of the 4 volume sets Fundamentals of Organization Development (Sage, 2010) and Action Research in Business & Management (Sage, 2016). He serves on the editorial advisory boards of: Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, Action Research, Action Learning: Research and Practice, Systemic Practice and Action Research, The OD Practitioner among others.

Call for Papers

Deadline extension: Call for papers now extended to Saturday 14th April. Abstracts should be submitted to More details here

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