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Title: Juggling multiple roles or falling between all stools? Insider action research in a collaborative agricultural research program in Southeast Asia
Authors: Andreas Neef
Rupert Friederichsen
Dieter Neubert
Keywords: Social Sciences
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2008
Abstract: Action research has been part of the methodological spectrum of the social sciences for a long time. After an initial boom period in the 1970s and 1980s, however, the discussion has now abated somewhat. At present, action research is promoted mainly in two applied fields: In the context of organizational research and in development-oriented agricultural research, commonly under the label 'participatory research'. In this paper, we analyze the potential of action research by individuals within their own organization, drawing on a collaborative research program. The objective of this program is to enhance action research approaches in agricultural research and explore their potential, while at the same time critically examining their limitations. Thereby, researchers and the institutional innovation process become the central focus of the research. The project thus operates at the interface between organizational research, organizational anthropology, sociology of knowledge, and agricultural research. Our experience suggests that insider action research in a research organization penetrates the research routine in particular ways, brings the backstage of the research praxis into the limelight and integrates it into the methodical debate. The positionality of the action researcher, related power asymmetries, and the exposed actors' defense mechanisms that emerge from this setting pose particular challenges for insider action researcher. © 2011 Duncker & Humblot GmbH.
ISSN: 18655106
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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