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ERIC Number: ED554293
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 276
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-7319-6
A Case Study of a "Collaborative Organizational Innovation" Intervention, Combining Action Research and Design-Thinking Methodologies
Wetzler, Jeffrey Richard
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
For decades, debates have raged about performance management in education. While it is essential to understand the degree of student learning and the nature of teacher impact in education systems, when attempts at managing outcomes go wrong, the consequences can be problematic. National Education Organization (a pseudonym for the organization where this case study research takes place) has reflected upon many of the same challenges as the broader education sector in developing effective performance-management systems. Over the past 2 years, change agents and leaders at many levels of National Education Organization attempted to innovate, creating new models for the organization's programmatic performance-management system. Specifically, they created an organizational intervention that blended methods of action research and design thinking, two traditions that have not historically had significant connections in the literature. This study expands what is known about integrating design thinking with action research in the context of organizational interventions that seek to accelerate organizational learning and innovation. The research took the form of a qualitative case study. The analysis suggested that the intervention at National Education Organization could legitimately be understood as a form of an action-research project but that it should be seen as only a modest attempt at embodying design thinking. I conclude that a collaborative organizational innovation methodology--that combines elements from action research and design thinking--has the potential to produce positive perceived outcomes related to novel solutions, personal commitment among organizational members, individual learning, and people's experience and relationship to the organization. However, 3 tensions appeared to be inherent in combining action research with design thinking: a problem-solving orientation versus an abductive logic orientation; convergent versus divergent thinking; and end users as owners of a participatory process versus input providers to a master designer. These tensions have the potential to be constructive tensions, presuming that 5 key success factors are in place: clarity of project purpose and scope, senior-leader engagement, breadth of stakeholder and user involvement, timeline fit with organizational cycles, and capabilities of project leaders. Implications for practice and additional research are provided. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A