Action Research - Virtual Taster Session

**What is Action Research? **

  • It’s a way of researching practical issues and questions in the thick of the action
  • It’s a reflective, iterative approach to inquiring and learning in the field
  • It’s a practice and a craft - and the best way to learn is by having a go
group on laptop

Action Research Skills Programme - Coming early 2021

We are pleased to offer the newly shaped virtual programme of Action Research Skills development. This builds on the successful programme of participative sessions that we have been running as Ashridge since 2013.

We anticipate that this programme will comprise four x 3-hour long online sessions, starting in January 2021.

These sessions will feature some materials to help you prepare, a community gathering, a framing/provocation and a set of skills to practice, under a relevant theme of inquiry.

The sessions are practically-oriented, interactive and playful. They are open to anyone who wants to bring a reflective, inquiring approach to their work or life. This includes all research students, alumni, practitioners of change. It is suitable for those new to action research as well as those more seasoned practitioners who want to take time out to refresh their practice and meet others doing the same. It is highly recommended for anyone considering an action research programme at Ashridge.

Virtual Taster Session Recording

We hosted a virtual taster session with some potential participants, in which we shared insight into the programme and asked for feedback on our proposals.

The recording below highlights some of the key points of the discussion. We were unable to record the taster session in its entirety due to some discussions about sensitive topics.

Meet our faculty

Margaret Gearty

Margaret Gearty

Margaret is an Ashridge Adjunct Faculty member and an active member of the research and teaching community at Hult Ashridge Executive Education. She is a doctoral supervisor on the Ashridge doctorate in organizational change (EDOC) and a professor of learning history. An experienced action researcher, Margaret has worked on the design and delivery of several large-scale action research projects that take a systemic view of issues such as food, energy and sustainability. She combines these macro interests with an ongoing exploration of action research as a craft and the micro-practices and skills involved in practicing it. In 2012 she co-launched the Action Research Skills program.

Margaret’s passion lies in exploring how storytelling and action research might be creatively combined to develop learning ‘in the system’ on complex environmental and social issues. She has published internationally and is recognized for her work on narrative approaches to change and learning history. She has pursued her research through a diverse range of projects relating to environmental sustainability for research councils, and mostly third- and public- sector organizations, the Carnegie Trust, NESTA, Swindon Borough Council and Pepsico.

With a first class degree in microelectronic engineering and early career experience as a manager in the hi-tech industry, Margaret is a pragmatic and creative practitioner who has worked across diverse disciplines and cultures.

She continues to be fascinated by what it takes to live a meaningful life and how the personal and political meet in micro-moments of continuous opportunity.

James Traeger

James Traeger

James is an organizational and personal development specialist with extensive practical delivery and teaching experience.

From 1996-2006 he specialized in organizational and leadership development, with clients including the Metropolitan Police Service, Newham NHS Trust, Surrey County Council, Thus Plc and the University of Cambridge. He created the Navigator Men's Development Program and won acclaim for his work on the Metropolitan Police's 'gender agenda'.

It was a yearning to get under the skin of this gender work that brought him to Action Research and Inquiry. In 2004, he started the journey towards an inquiry-based PhD. His thesis, entitled 'On Mentshlichkeit: An Inquiry into the Practice of Being a Good Man', was the culmination of six years of action research into the discomforts and dilemmas faced by a man attempting to 'be the change' of a masculinity that actively attempts to disrupt the sexist power structures of organisations, rather than just 'talking about it'. In this work, he was inspired into futuristic narrative and dialogue, by the loving voices of challenge and support he heard in the course of his diverse roles in work and learning communities.

James holds a BA (hons), PG Dip (Psych) and a PhD.