ABSTRACT

This book has described an action research project, the concept of action research challenging the view that analysis and practice (i.e. researching and educating) are distinct, separate activities requiring different skills and techniques and involving different perceptions of the establishments in which they take place. The research methodology was grounded in the non-reactive research approach of participation observation, supplemented by unobtrusive measures, such as documented statistical and financial data, used to provide a framework for the survey and to substantiate the findings yielded by participant observation. Because the confidentiality of the research was preserved throughout, a large number of formal and informal meetings became, in effect, proxy discussion groups in which hypotheses for testing by subsequent observation were formulated. The objectivity of the research was thus safeguarded by a triangulation of research methods — documentation, observation, discussion.