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RE: [xmca] ISCAR (review)

Dear Michael ,
The introduction in the article suggested that A-R communities are more receptive to explore these differences that CHAT circles -  I have to say I find this to be 

very true to my experience, however Somethz & Nissen's explanation is inadequate ( that CH has a stronger 'method'). Also although it is nice to read that they 

think a response special issue from AR researchers would perhaps be needed - I thought  it very unlikely that it would emerge in a CH journal.... though I hope.
 I  joined in the discussion about the article http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/xmcamail.2011_05.dir/msg00446.html, and recall wanting to say that when it referred to 'contemporary perspectives' in AR, that is exactly what was side-stepped by going back 60 years to Lewin. 
My own academic background lies in an action-research approach, I studied my MSc with Peter Checkland at Lancaster and he has referred to Lewin, but also incorporated the developments of a 30 year action-research programme of MSc A-R projects, PhD studies, and academic action-research projects along the way- and also back into the teaching of the programme. This activity has been influential in action-research as  reflected in the two editions of the Sage Handbook , which also reflects other strands in the movement - as there are various traditions in in CHAT. Lewin is probably not a common root, but even looking for a common root makes it difficult to find 'coalescence'.

My feeling was that underpinning values of scientific method are more firmly aligned with natural science in the valuing of Method as reflected in Lewin's approach to research. The order of 'recovering method' is much more pre-defined than collaboratively emergent. I have recently retraced some steps in another practitioner discussion where I went back to a talk by Bo Dahlbom. In this he makes a broad sweep at a story of 'methods' being relevant to ' factory' (modernist) thinking, and he gently questions why (in Information Systems) research is carried out using ethnographic methods. A very nice way of expressing this was to illustrate the case study via 'going to the Galapagos islands'. He then said well 'so what?' - an important question for any research - and illustrated his version of a more developmental way to research. ( N.B. This was not the core question of the talk.)


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