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Action research international

Editorial panel biographies



Dan Bar-On, Beer-Sheva, Israel.  Ben Gurion University of the Negev.  Interests: The Undiscussible: Intergenerational transmission of trauma, Jewish-German and Jewish-Arabic dialogues as examples of managing severe conflicts.  The Undescribable: Experiential learning processes, developing a science museum based on exhibits in social sciences and the link between them and natural sciences. biographical analysis and qualitative research methods.


Carlos Bezos Daleske, anthropologist, used participatory action research and ethnography to transform the administrative oriented accounting of Mercedes Benz España into an efficient and knowledge driven service centre for 11 companies of the DaimlerChrysler Group in Spain. This was achieved with the same staff once regarded as "too old and deskilled" and without firings. Currently he applies PAR to create a shared services centre for all non commercial functions of DC in Spain, that competes with offshoring tendencies by building up employee knowledge on how to cut costs and improve constantly working processes. Carlos Bezos Daleske is also a managing member of AIBR Antropólogos Iberoamericanos en Red, the most read internet anthropology resource in Spanish language.


Ben Boog; lecturer community organisation/education; secretary Dutch Network (participatory) Action Research.  Did AR-projects on urban renewal, migrant workers, organisations within environmental movement.  Currently AR (exemplary AR) on Female Radical Therapy organisation and "vocational quality improvement of social casework concerning (growing) problems of the poor".  Working on AR as a (synthetical) third paradigm (based on Habermas, Touraine and Freire).


Dr Bill Boyd is Associate Professor in Geography in the School of Environmental Science & Management at Southern Cross University. His academic background is in the area of landscape studies, with an emphasis on environmental history and the environmental management of historical and cultural heritage places and landscapes. His work emerges from a cultural geography perspective. Bill has published extensively, with over 100 articles published in refereed scientific journals and academic books. He is the co-author of several recent books on cultural heritage management (Heritage Landscapes: Understanding Place and Communities), the environmental and social impacts of catastrophic volcanic eruptions (Mauten Paia: Volcanoes, People and Environment), and environmental mapping (Environmental Mapping: A Professional Development Manual).


Otto Brodtrick has served for several decades with various agencies of the Canadian government in technical, managerial, and research positions.  He was principal researcher and author of Revitalizing Public Services, a series of studies submitted to Parliament by the Auditor General of Canada.  In 1991 he founded the Centre for Public Management, and is now working with organizations internationally to improve their performance, particularly their strategic, innovative and organizational learning abilities.  As Adjunct Professor he is teaching strategy implementation and managing change in the MBA program at McGill University.


Kenneth Malcolm (Mac) Brown is Professor of Forestry at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Mac teaches experimental design, data analysis, research methods, and conflict resolution to graduate and undergraduate forestry students. Two themes that run throughout his apparently diverse courses are inquiry and sense-making. Mac has led continuing education courses designed to introduce mid-career foresters to action research principles and the application of these principles in professional practice. He received the Lakehead University Distinguished Instructor Award in 1999. Mac is often called upon to design and facilitate events to help groups inquire, learn, generate ideas, plan for the future, and/or solve problems.


Mary Brydon-Miller, Springfield College School of Human Services, Manchester, NH, USA.  I am interested in exploring the theory and practice of action research, especially within community organizing/ community development contexts.  Most of my current work is in the areas of elder advocacy and in working with refugee women and their families.  I am also interested in cross-cultural psychology and in helping communities deal with issues of diversity.


Lyn Carson, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.  Interests: politics, social change, consultation and participation, decision making, group processes, Zen.


David Coghlan, School of Business Studies, University of Dublin, Trinity College, teaching organisation development and action research.  Interests: processes of organisational change through action research, process consultation-clinical inquiry, reflective practice, and doing action research in your own organisation.  I'm currently writing a book on "doing action research in your own organisation", and am supervising several research students who are engaging in it.


Mary Dalmau, Eugene, Oregon, USA - University of Oregon.  After many years as a teacher, administrator and senior policy officer with the state system of education in Victoria (Australia) I came four years ago to the University of Oregon to "indulge" myself with further study - I am almost finished a doctoral degree in education - however much of my best learning has gone on around the degree within the international educational community here.  I am interested in "learning" and "learners" and approaches to learning which lead to the "capacitation" of learners, collaborative research projects with educators, action research based approaches to teacher education, and feminist research.  I am having fun at the moment working with schools to design qualitative surveys as part of school-profiling and action research.  My current research projects also include a qualitative study of teacher learning and school change, an international, participatory life history study of women and leadership in education, and a study of communities of practice in professional and graduate learning.  I am also fascinated with pedagogy and informatics - I belong to a non-profit organization called "International Connectivity and Capacitation" which develops workshops for educators on this topic.


Bob Dick, Brisbane, Australia.  Southern Cross University, Tweed Heads.  Interests: action research; action learning; community and organisational change; participative methods; experiential learning; facilitating complex situations; reading good science fiction.


Max Elden, Houston, Texas, University of Houston Clear Lake, School of Business and Public Administration, teach courses in management and orgaization, group dynamics and teamwork, consulting skills; some 20 years in Norway where got into action research via socio-tech systems interventions in organizations,; now heavily into teaching/learning effectiveness assessment & improvement, democratic leadership, organizational development and change - assessment for improvement (often an AR approach).  Still strongly influenced by and see myself working within the Norwegian Industrial Democracy Program from the framework set up by Thorsrud, Emery, Herbst, Trist and others but finding it difficult to make progress on this in the USA!


Allan Ellis, Senior Lecturer, Southern Cross University, Interests:experiential learning, adult and community education, computer technologiesas learning and collaborative tools, participative instructional technologies, changing patterns of work, and Morgans.


Allan Feldman, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.  My work is in three main areas: science teacher education, action research, and program evaluation.  All of my research is guided by my goal to come to a better understanding of what it means to teach and to be a teacher.  Before joining the faculty at the Univeristy of Massachusetts I taught middle and high school science (primarily physics) for 17 years.


Pip Ferguson, Hamilton, New Zealand.  The Waikato Polytechnic, Hamilton.  Interests: action research; staff development; research cultures; what counts as knowledge; social justice; choral singing.  Finishing doctoral study into using action research to change our research culture.


John F.  Forester, Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14854.  Main research interests: political and moral deliberation/learning as encouraged through participatory processes; practical judgment required by mediators and PAR practitioners encouraging "democratic deliberation;" institutional and processual design of "safe" deliberative spaces; the character of non-argumentative learning in participatory encounters; PAR's liberalism in tension with its communitarianism; theories of Habermas, Benhabib, Nussbaum.


Deborah B.  Gilman, Graduate Assistant, University of Illinois,Champaign-Urbana.  Supervisor of student teachers.  Member of Dialogue In Methods of Education (DIME); an organization promoting dialogue and action research in educational practice.  Member of Florida Staff Development Association; promoting innovation and understanding of change and development of administrative and teacher education.  Formal areas of interest: Education dialogue groups, staff development, early childhood, elementary education, curriculum and instructional models, aesthetic education, qualitative and evaluative research.  Other interests: American Old Tyme Fiddling and dancing.font>


Susan Goff is currently a full time PhD student at the School of Humanities, the University of Western Sydney. Her PhD inquiry topic is the relationship of participatory practice to socio-ecological sustainability interests in Australia. Since 1990 Susan has worked as a freelance facilitator of systemic participatory practices including research, learning and evaluation, through her company Cultureshift Pty Ltd. She worked in public sector contracts addressing policy and practice issues in areas such as public health, crime prevention, domestic violence, catchment management and stormwater education. In 2004 the company transformed to a not for profit co-operative of the same name, with the purpose of developing the philosophy and practice of sustainability workers. Susan is currently serving as a director on the Board of Directors for that organisation.


Davydd J.  Greenwood, anthropologist, Cornell University.  Co-author of Industrial Democracy as Process: Participatory Action Research in the Fagor Cooperative Group of Mondragón.  Has in press two book- length edited works on action research in the U.S.  and Europe.  Currently co-authoring a textbook on action research with Morten Levin (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim) and participating in the Trondheim module of Norway's "Enterprise 2000" industrial democracy and development program.


Shirley Grundy, Perth, Australia.  Murdoch University.  Academic Interests: action research (of course) and qualitative research in general, curriculum theory and development, school management and planning, professional development.  Other interests: horse racing, a bottle of red and a good steak on the barbie.


Stewart Hase, Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia is fascinated by individual, organisational and community adjustment or the lack of.  Recently some related issues such as developing capability, complexity, learning enterprises, healthy workplaces and communities, and the effects of economic rationalism have been of interest.  His interest in Action Research is based on the belief that its 'in vivo', just in time approach is the only real way we can come to at least partially understand complex phenomenon.  The idea of mixing methodologies in research seems compelling in the face of what might be called paradigm paralysis in many 'professions'.


Greg Hearn, Brisbane, Australia.  The Communication Centre QUT Current fleeting interests: Pluralist social enquiry, developing virtues in professionals, The Information Superhighway and social change, Social adaptions and perversions of the science of complexity.  Check out:


Vidar Hepsø, anthropologist, senior researcher at Statoil (The state oil company of Norway) R&D located in Trondheim, Norway. Theoretical interests are action research in relation to integrated organizational and information technology development, in the interface between pragmatic AR, participatory design and actor network theory.  I have taken part in and been the project manager of a number of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) projects in Statoil's exploration and production divisons.


Ian Hughes, Gosford NSW, Australia.  Yooroang Garang (Centre for Indigenous Health Studies) University of Sydney, Australia.  Interests: action research (in health, community etc.); community development; indigenous community action; problem posing professional education; WWW Indigenous Health Network.


Sohail Inayatullah, The communication centre, queensland university of technology and associate editor, New Renaissance, Mainz, Germany.  Meditation, basketball and civilization futures particularly global ethics beyond the postmodern. I am stunned by the ability of the students in belgrade to use humor, drama, poetry to challenge one of the most ferocious regimes today.


Paul Inglis, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Education.  Teach in the fields of cultural and policy studies in education; supervise postgraduate action research; other teaching and reading interests are philosophy, theology, history of education, futures studies, biographies, distance education and hermeneutics.  Moderate an Email discussion group for postgraduate action researchers and supervisors.


Moira Laidlaw. I have been in education since 1978 when I first taught in a rural state secondary school in the UK. I was there for ten years, teaching English and German. I then moved to Bath because I wanted to do a masters degree, which I did full-time for a year. After that I taught part-time at the University of Bath and started my doctorate in educational action research in 1991 with jack Whitehead. In 1994 I took a year off my Ph.D. and administered the third World Congress in Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management at the university. It was a fantastic time. In 1995 I returned to the classroom and taught English and Psychology for eight years, completing my Ph.D. in the meantime in 1996. My postdoctoral research has been mainly concerned with equalising opportunities for students, particularly with regard to racial issues. In 2001 I came to China's poor northwest, to Guyuan Teachers College in Ningxia Province, as a Voluntary Services Overseas volunteer, where I started a programme of inservice training through action research (living theory approach). In December 2003 the department opened China's Experimental Centre for Educational Action Research in Foreign Languages Teaching, and in our first six months we have been responsible for exensive inservice work within the college, and also in local and regional middle schools, trying to improve the quality of teaching and learning. My contract will come to an end here in February 2005, after which time I hope the work will be sustainable. Details of our work here can be found at


Stephan Laske, Full Professor of Business Management and Management Education, Head of Department of Business Education and Human Resource Management, University of Innsbruck, Austria.  Chair of the Senate, University of Innsbruck.  Regular consulting and management training in private and public organizations (e.g.  Federal Ministry of Labour; State Departments in Salzburg and Tyrol; several companies in Austria and Germany); interests and publications are in such areas as self-managed firms, co-operative firms, industrial relations and wage policy, autonomous planning in universities, organizational development and learning organization, human resource development (a critical view), partnership between higher education and industry, succession in family-owned firms, business education, industrial relations and collective bargaining, trust and leadership, planning and teaching in higher education.


Morten Levin, Professor, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, NORWAY.  Interests: Running Ph.D.program training action researchers, working on developing teaching curricula and research in the room between technology and organization.  Has worked with AR projects throughout my whole professional life, spanning from trade union, through local community development to industrial and engineering settings.  Struggle with theory of science issues and sailing is the only way to go.


Karen Lewin.  Currently work in Brisbane, Qld as Adviser to Department of Veterans Affairs in community development and policy.  Interests:  (in addition to SAR): international community development, nonviolence, microenterprise development.  and recreationally, kayaking.


Bob Macadam, Associate Professor, Centre for Systemic Development, University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury.  My interest in action research is as a basis for incorporating experiential learning and systems principles and practice into formal and non-formal education programs, and development projects.  Application arenas over 30 years include agricultural education (undergraduate and postgraduate), rural extension, and organisation/community/rural development.  Current interests are the collaborative design/evaluation with stakeholders of rural development projects funded by agencies such as the Asian Development Bank.  I am readily available for a game of golf and a thirst-quenching beer to follow.


Judith McMorland, Dept. of Management and Employment Relations (MER), University of Auckland, NZ.  Main teaching areas Change managment; learning organisations and OD; public sector and NFP organisations; AR; Sociodrama and other action learning methods for collaborative learning; change managment consulting.  I will be at Cartagena and hope to contact other ARI folk there.  Too old to play erudite academic games, open to new adventures; lover of life, long words and simple ideas.


Robin McTaggart BSc MEd PhD is Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at James Cook University in north Queensland, Australia. Interests: participatory action research; democratic approaches to program evaluation; case study methods; critical theory; community, organisation and system engagement in change; cross-cultural pedagogy and research; swimming, movies, visual arts and photography.


Amitay Niv (D.B.A.) is currently the Dean of the Academic Center at the Ruppin Institute in Israel.  Besides his teaching of various areas in management and administration he is involved, together with his spouse Dr.  Eva Hagi-Niv in consulting projects in a wide range of organizations.  Development, according to their view, is a product of an ongoing interaction between action and learning.  Essential in this dialogue is the relationship between intervention and research.  A-R as a philosophy and a methodology becomes here a way of life.


Susan E. Noffke, Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  311 Education, 1310 S.  6th Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.  My major "research" interests have been in trying to understand the various manifestations of action research historically, as well as their potentials for assisting in collective efforts for social justice through and with educational work.  I am still a teacher, although now of teachers, rather than children.  As such, issues of politics, of workplace transformation, and forms of knowledge are crucial.  To address my interests, I draw on a wide range of theoretical resources - feminist, anti-racist, neo-marxist, being the most common.  I also, with my husband of 21 years, assist in the raising of two lovely children.


Ron Passfield, Brisbane, Australia.  Griffith University.  Interests: action learning, action research, organisational change, development of society, linking change agents, tennis.


Dr Eileen Piggot-Irvine is the Director of the NZ Principal and Leadership Centre and a part-time senior lecturer at Massey University, Auckland. She also directs her own education management consultancy, EPI. This portfolio takes her all over NZ (and a couple of times Australia) working with a wide range of organisations, educational and otherwise. A lot of her current work is in appraisal, management development, action research, and management review, with a particular focus on helping people to develop productive, non-defensive interactions. She has written one book, about 30 articles/papers in the last eight years since catching the writing bug, and presented at too many conferences and workshops to mention (several as a keynote presenter). She established the NZ Action Research Network in 1992 and after ten years has just finished co-ordinating this. Prior to 1998 she was the Head of Education Management, at UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, and then previously Head of Professional Development, Northland Polytechnic, and a science teacher. Eileen says that her mix of academic and consultancy professional life is a deliberate choice, which gives her realism and a balance of academic and hands-on experience.


Peter Posch, Klagenfurt, Professor of Education, Institute of Education and Educational Research, University of Klagenfurt, Austria.  Interests: Action research, school development and social change, environmental education, professional development of teachers, quality evaluation in schools (recently completed study); involved in the Environment and School Initiatives (ENSI) Project.


Timothy Pyrch, Faculty of Continuing Education, U of Calgary, Canada.  Assoc Prof and Program Director.  Main routine activity is Director of Certificate in Adult Learning.  Passions: teaching graduate courses in adult education and community development; liberatory tradition in adult education; indigenous knowledge; participatory action research.  Goal -- a light heart.


Thoralf Ulrik Qvale, research director, Work Research Institute, Oslo, Norway, and professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.  Main research interest: Action research, socio-technical design, methods for organizing collaboration and joint change across the boundary between institutions and work life, teaching action research, methods for network development.


Peter Reason, BA, PhD.  Senior Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour.  Director, Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice, School of Management, University of Bath.  My major work has been to contribute to the development of a participatory worldview and associated approaches to inquiry.  In particular I have developed co-operative inquiry, in which all those involved in the research endeavour acts as co-researchers and co-inquirers.  I have applied this particularly in medical and complementary medical fields.  Current interests include the further development of this method and its application to personal and organizational learning; radical shifts in epistemology and consciousness; professional and managerial practice as inquiry; education as liberation.  I have just launched a new inquiry into the nature of high quality postconventional personal skill and presence.  I lead the staff team which offers the Postgraduate Programme in Action Research at the University of Bath.


Jo-Anne Reid, Armidale, NSW, University of New England.  My interests are in theories of social identity and subjectivity, and in the potential of post-structuralist theories of practice for rethinking schooling and difference, particularly in relation to literacy.  I am particularly concerned with the tension between the view of the subject in these latter theories and the effects of the agency that practical action produces in changing discursive practice, most particualrly in terms of the research relationships produced in the practice of action research.


Daniele Ricard, Graduate School of Management, University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada.  Interest: Action Learning; Action Research; Organizational learning; Consulting; Management Development; Experiential learning; Process management.


Patricia Rogers, Melbourne Australia.  Program for Public Sector Evaluation, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  Interests: developing evaluating organisations in the public sector; knowledge building and learning; evaluation practice; learning and collaboration using new technology; family history; Australian landscape gardening.


Shankar Sankaran, Australia, Associate Professor Graduate College of Management and Director College of Action Research at Southern Cross University. Shankar teaches information systems, project management and knowledge management in MBA programs in the Asia-Pacific region and supervises doctoral students researching in these areas many of whom use action research approaches in their methodology. He is often invited to examine action research theses from other Universities in Australia. Shankar takes an active interest in the activities of the Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management Association of Australia . He is an editorial advisor for Action Research published by Sage and has edited a book titled 'Effective Change Management using Action Learning and Action Research' along with Bob Dick, Ron Passfield and Pam Swepson. Shankar has presented and published papers in refereed academic journals. His current project is in finding ways to increase conversations between action researchers around the world in which ARI plays an important part.


Michael Schratz, University of Innsbruck, Austria.  Formal interests: research methodology; educational innovation; management and leadership in times of social change; social psychology of organisational development (OD).  Informally I have been shaped by the borderline experiences between OD technology and the pedagogical eros, between the fuzzy logic of human relations in organizations and their fractal structures, between the saturation 'here' and the underestimated power 'there'.


Carla Shafer, Research Support Specialist, Cornell University.  PARTICIPATION - working for change in the university-outreach community; contributing to PAR-inspired, local government initiated, telecommunications consortia in several rural communities.  RESEARCH - graduate field: Rural Development Sociology; a neo-Luddite studying technology assisted participatory action research, (electronic) community networks; local government roles in community change; having been immersed in things PAR for over five years, am still challenged by the question, "What is [participatory] action research?" ACTION -, cross country skiing; biodynamic french-intensive gardening; playing the piano; contemplative living.  Personal Web Page:


Bob Stake, Urbana, Illinois.  CIRCE, University of Illinois, Urbana.  Program evaluation, particularly in education; qualitative research methods, particularly case study.  Issues of professional development in authoritative and political systems, ethical dilemmas in client relations and public reporting, constructivist epistemology, sports and aesthetic cultures.  Avocational: genealogy, ice cream.


Tony Stevenson, The Communication Centre, Queensland University of Technology.  Action research is integral to our inquiry into communication futures.  Interests: Local/global conversations for creating our futures, particularly via the World Futures Studies Federation; the futures of local/global conversations and communities, beyond the Internet.  The burning question: How can we use human ingenuity to replace the dominanant mindset which condones -- no promotes -- unnatural acts?


Ernie Stringer.  My background is in education, but I've disciplinary interests in sociology, anthropology and philosophy.  Since the early eighties I've engaged in education and community development work with Aboriginal people from the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University.  I've also maintained contacts with mainstream education in the US, most recently at Texas A&M.


Pam Swepson: Organisational Psychologist, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Australia. To improve my 'action research' practice as a management consultant within the public sector, I did an action research thesis to compare the practice of 'good' science with 'good' action research. I found more similarities than differences. Therefore, I have become a 'methodologist' rather than an action researcher. This means that I think that the best methodology is the one that is tailored made to improve a current problem situation and the researchers I am most interested in are those who 'want to make a difference'.


Tricia Vilkinas, Strategic Partnerships and International Centre for Management and organisational Effectiveness at the University of South Australia.  Interests: Leadership, Women in Management, Action Research, Enhancing the Management Capability in organisations, importance of fun and creativity.  Important to me: my family, 4WD, and enjoying my friends.


Yoland Wadsworth, Adj Professor at the Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology (and co-founder of the Melbourne Action Research Issues Centre).  31 years as a human services researcher, evaluator, facilitator, methodology writer.
      Interested in: 'building in' user-responsive inquiry processes particularly in human services; emotional responses and defences; deep dialogue across both distance (imbalance in power and other alienations) and across difference (culture, understanding); systemic thinking and whole sysyems action research; derivations of Highlander, Tavistock, Argyris, Senge, Heart Politics and other methods of forging mutual strength and connectedness.
      Wrote Australia’s best-selling introductory methods texts (every year since 1984 and 1991 respectively) 'Do It Yourself Social Research' (as a post grad student) and 'Everyday Evaluation On The Run' (both in 2nd editions, released internationally in 1997). 


Gordon Wells, Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; cross-appointed to the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, the Centre for Teacher Development and the Centre for Applied Cognitive Science.  My interests are in promoting dialogic inquiry in education through collaborative action research involving students, classroom teachers and other educators, and through my own research and writing on Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and the mediating role of action, talk and text in knowledge building.


Paul Wildman BA Econ(Hons) (QLD), MSWAP (QLD), PhD (IMC).  Formerly Director Labour Market Programs in Queensland for TAFE, Paul has extensive experience and publications in community and reginal economic development.  He has Australian Labour Market Program experience in Tonga, India and Malaysia and is Australian facilitator for the Millennium project of the United Nations University (American Council).  His personal interests include Local Economic Development, Men's Issues and Futures Studies.


Bob Williams - New Zealand.  Currently combines interests in strategy, organisational development and evaluation with eking out a living as a consultant and keeping life interesting.  Very interested in culture and organisational values - whatever that means.  Spends the winter growing mould on the inside walls of his house, and wishing he was skiing.  Spends the summer growing weeds in his garden, and wishing he was windsurfing.  Believes that although it is the duty of every wine to be red, New Zealand should stick to producing the best white wines in the world.  Greatest weakness - can be persuaded to be interested in almost anything.  Greatest strength - will never be interested in rugby.


Jerome (Jerry) Winston, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia.  Interests: integration of methods across professions/disciplines; public sector evaluation; problem formulation; systems theory; philosophy of science/evaluation; performance measurement; data analysis; emotions, personality and self esteem in learning and leadership; international cooperation in evaluation learning/teaching.  Enjoy Scouting, public speaking, travel, Rotary, cross country skiing.  homepage:


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