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Systemic action researchA strategy for whole system change$
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Danny Burns

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347381

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347381.001.0001

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Working across systems

Working across systems

(p.40) (p.41) Three Working across systems
Systemic action research

Danny Burns

Policy Press

This chapter explores how an understanding of systematic change can offer strategies for action research facilitators, and for organisations that seek to include action research into their decision-making structures. By focusing on systematic patterns and to local relationships, the small opportunities for action that may open up countless possibilities for larger change are determined. Improvised strategies of this type are dependent first on opening multiple spaces for exploration and acting on opportunities as they emerge, and second on skilfully weaving them into a coherent narrative. This allows a strategic intervention in such way to maximise their impact. In this chapter, the focus is on the three strong assertions about how to work most effectively within the system. These are: 1) explicitly adopt an improvisational approach to change; 2) organise around a principle of parallel development; and 3) develop strategies for working with resonance to enable judgement about meanings across a system.

Keywords:   systematic change, action research facilitators, action research, improvisational approach, parallel development, resonance

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