Academic journal article International Journal of Action Research

Editorial

Academic journal article International Journal of Action Research

Editorial

Article excerpt

This issue of the International Journal of Action Research presents five articles from different socio-political contexts, as well as research practices related to different fields and experiences. What binds them together is action research as a method for co-producing knowledge together with stakeholders, be it in organisations, schools or sport events..

The first article, by John Andersen and Annette Bilfeldt, describes and analyses two contexts: nursing homes and libraries, where the authors show how action research may contribute to social innovation and empowerment in public welfare and cultural institutions, in a manner that supports the interests of marginalised citizens and local communities, and creates opportunities for positive change. Empowerment, action research and innovation constitute the conceptual reference, rooted in critical social theory. The article ends with two challenges to be considered in action research. The first one is about facilitating innovative forms of organisation, such as multifunctional community centres, and make them visible as relevant structures, rather than seeing them as special exceptions. The second challenge is about managing dilemmas in practical action research, especially related to power abuse in a supposedly democratic process of knowledge production.

Satu Kalliola, Jukka Niemelä and Ossi Eskelinen study the relation between work and university study in a growing competitie social context. Their conclusion is that instead of study-friendly practices at the workplaces, universities are adopting work-friendly practices, including e-learning, to support their students. The participants were students, teachers and advisors as well as employers. Using Democratic Dialogue as methodological procedure, the authors explore the different perspectives on this issue facing the majority of university students today. In spite of the difficulties, the authors are optimistic about the role the university can play in balancing conflicting interests.

The article "Field-configuring events and action research", by Helge Svare and Eugenia Vathakou, attempt to match these two theoretical frameworks. …

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