ERIC Number: ED344994
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Action Research in Professional Work: Developing New Practices through Design, Dialogue or Learning?
Lahn, Leif Chr.
This paper examines action research that has been carried out in organizations consisting of predominantly highly educated personnel. The paper revolves around discussion of the Scandinavian model of action research, asking to what degree this model, which has been developed within the framework of industrial democracy, might also serve as a guideline for development projects in professional work. The paper summarizes experiences at the Oslo Work Research Institute (WRI) of development projects on ships (emphasizing the position of ships' officers), at a university, a large hospital, and a group of high technology plants. It also provides a short history of Norwegian action research in working life. A table summarizes five of WRI's action research projects in organizations with relatively highly educated labor forces. The paper proposes that action research is difficult when it is done in a field characterized by power struggles between professions. It proposes that the research must not become too compartmentalized but must include connections between training and working life, concluding that action researchers must position themselves within an unclear field of crossing and contiguous interests. Such a task demands a greater degree of reflexivity than has been usual in the Scandinavian model for action research. (36 references) (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Oslo Work Research Institute (Norway)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).