Managers today increasingly find themselves facing unexpected problems, needing to learn how to cope with complex environments and to take action in an often chaotic flow of events. This article discusses how researchers can engage managers in a form of dialogical action research, capable of nurturing knowledge and change. This is achieved by creating space for collaborative dialogue between managers and researchers, and supplementing it with the integration of a reflexive writing practice. We first present methodological reflections related to the challenges of sustaining management practice through action research. Second, we explicate dialogical action research and illustrate the reflexive writing practice through two vignettes which provide opportunities to reflexively explore “how things work” in managers’ organizational contexts. This forms the basis for sustaining participation and learning at individual and collective levels. Finally, we identify and discuss the specific conditions and limits of such an approach.
- ACTION RESEARCH
- MANAGEMENT LEARNING