Re: Archived paper on qual philosophy

Hemant Desai (
Thu, 18 Aug 1994 19:30:39 -0500 (CDT)

>> Archived paper, and request for critical review <<

[I'm crossposting this: apologies if you get multiple copies]

Some of the readers of this list may be interested in a paper which I have
recently archived in an action research archive at
Written by Pam Swepson, it is a draft of a paper which explores the
philosophical underpinnings of action research and to some extent of
other research paradigms.

Pam is hoping for critical comment, though you are welcome to the paper
anyway (or other archived papers which catch your eye).

You can access this paper by sending the email message

get ar_philos [that's an underline]

to: [that's a hyphen]

or by anonymous ftp to:

in directory: lists/arlist.

The paper is named ar_philos.

(The file ar_README gives summaries of the other archived papers.)

I've included below, Pam's description of the paper, and her aims in
seeking comment.

-- Bob Bob Dick <>


I am interestested in exploring the philosophical
underpinnings of action research to improve my own
practice as an organisational consultant. I am making
the assumption that if I understand the basic assumptions
of the paradigm I am less likely to violate them in
my practice.

I intend to use my understanding of action research to
increase its use in my work organisation, a government
department of agriculture, as a primary paradigm for
extensionists and other social scientists and as a
secondary paradigm for agricultural scientists for when
their science hits up against social systems.

It is difficult to find the assumptions behind action
research because there are so many different models.
Therefore, I am exploring the philosophy of action research
by comparing it with the philosophy of science. This is
an intellectual tool, to compare it with something
that it is not. And it is a practical tool for
enabling me to explain action research to scientists
in terms that don't have specific connotation in science.

I have produced a paper drawing some of the comparisons
that I have made so far, but I would like some critical
review of this paper. As a psychologist, I was trained
in scientific method, but I do not practice it. I am
now attempting to practice action research, but I have
never been trained in it.

Pam Swepson <>
PhD Candidate, School of Applied Psychology,
Griffith University, Australia
Phone +61 7 378 9670 Fax +61 7 878 9156

> --------------------------------------------------------
> Pam does not have direct access to the archive; send
> queries about the archive to Bob Dick <>