Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2008, Madison, Wisconsin, Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ISSS

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INCORPORATING SYSTEMS THINKING IN ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE PROJECTS USING ACTION RESEARCH BY PRACTITIONERS CONDUCTING ACADEMIC RESEARCH

Shankar Sankaran

Abstract


This paper explores the use of systems thinking in action research projects. It will describe two ‘real’ action research projects, where soft systems methodology was used by managers who introduced change in their own organizations. It elaborates how applying this methodology supported the application of action research. Both managers who used action research have successfully completed their doctorates in programs conducted by an Australian university. The paper discusses the relationship between soft systems methodology and action research, examines the problems faced in using this methodology in action research and discusses how systems thinking could be effectively applied by management researchers planning to conduct academic research.

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