Systemic Action Research

A Strategy for Whole System Change

Danny Burns

Systemic Action Research
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Danny Burns

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

208 pages | 7 x 9 1/2 | © 2007
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781861347374 Published October 2007 For sale in North and South America only
Systemic action research works with real social and organisational issues to uncover their complex dynamics, often revealing unexpected opportunities. This book shows how this process can be integrated, in any context, to the process of social and organisational development and change. The book explains how systemic thinking works and how systemic action research can be embedded into organisational structures and processes to catalyse sustainable change and critical local interventions. Practically written, it details how to design a programme and build it directly into policy and practice development, extending the possibilities of action research beyond the 'individual' and the 'group' to work across whole organisations, multi-agency governance arenas and networks. The book is filled with illustrative stories and pictures which bring the concepts to life enabling the reader to develop a clear picture of how to put it into practice.Systemic action research programmes are now being adopted in Government and local governance contexts as well as in national and international NGOs. This book will be invaluable for experienced action researchers as well as social science and social policy researchers who will benefit from an approach to qualitative research which is participative, grounded in practice and allows systemic understandings of complex problems. Policy makers and practitioners will appreciate a process which generates meaningful evidence about the dynamics of change and offers a tangible system for continuously integrating that learning into both formal and informal decision-making.
About the author
List of abbreviations

1. Action research
2. A systemic perspective
3. Working across systems
4. Some systemic action research projects explored
5. Some design principles for systemic action research
6. Practices of systemic action inquiry
7. Issues for action research facilitators
8. Quality and ethics in systemic action research
9. Systemic action research in policy and politics

A final reflection
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