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activities pursued because of its existential significance for human life” (p. 84). Dialogue, Park describes, holds a central point in fulfilling the principles of participatory research. In order for exchange of views or debate to occur that would see participants disagreeing with each other a mutual trust had to be established. Reason and Bradbury (2001) view this trust as vital, allowing the participants the capacity to convey their views candidly to the entire group without worry.

The “social space in which …. [participants] can share experiences and information create common meanings and forge concerted actions together” (Park, 2006, p. 84) is central to action research. Achieving this, according to Wadsworth (2006), requires the facilitator to be responsible for ensuring that the group remain focussed on the aim of the inquiry and assists them in capturing and articulating the essence of the group work. Not only is this focus necessary but, as Reason and Bradbury (2006) state, an action research project needs to be: “explicit in developing praxis of relational participation, guided by a reflexive concern for practical outcomes, include a plurality of knowing, engage insignificant work and result in new and enduring infrastructure or sustainable change” (p. 350).

Coghlan and Brannick (2005) refer to the “meta cycle of inquiry” (p. 25) when content, process and premise are all simultaneously attended to through the action research process. The content refers to what is detected, planned and acted on. The process is how the detection or diagnosis is undertaken what actions stems from that and how further evaluation takes place. These authors describe how two action research cycles can work in parallel. At the same time as I was involved in the doing of the project, I was simultaneously diagnosing, planning, and taking action as well as evaluating, how and why actions were taking place. Such activity takes into account the premise which refers to the often non-conscious, causal assumptions that dictate behaviour. They also suggest that the culture of an organisation may have a powerful influence on how issues are regarded and debated. All this taken into account such group activity required myself as the principal researcher to not only constantly ask what is going on here through the meetings but also draw together the key aspects in the written summary of the meetings so that they were not lost between meetings.


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