Since several years Action Research and more practice-oriented forms of research re-emerged in the organizational field. That is a good news!
More recently, work by Gibbons et al. (1994) has motivated a number of authors to advocate that organization and management studies should be positioned from research that is discipline based, university centred and focused on abstract knowledge toward so-called Mode 2 (Huff, 2000, Transfield and Starkey,1998 ). Mode 2 research, witch appears to be characteristic to a number of disciplines in the applied sciences and engineering, focuses on producing knowledge relevant for application. In the continuity of this reflection, Huff and Huff (2001), reinforce this reflection about research agenda by focusing on the link between society and business. They insist in the fact that “It is important to recognize that business is ultimately accountable to society”(p.53). With Mode 3 of research, researchers goal is to develop ethics into organizations and community in general. For example, Schwandt (2005) explain that subjective (sensemaking) and objective knowledge (learning) are complementary concerning the development of managers.
For exemple, Edgar Morin (2004) work about Ethic could allow us to think Ethic as a mean to drive the validity of action-research when you are in a Mode 3 of research.
Western civilisation with this economic, technological and scientific logic is now becoming incapable to think the complexity of global economic and the world in general. Only that witch is quantifiable is perceived as real but unfortunately, neither love nor suffering, pleasure, enthusiasm nor poetry are quantifiable. The reforming of thought teaches us to tackle complexity with the aid of concepts capable of re-establishing the link between the different types of knowledge: Ethic, as complex concept is one of the most powerful concept to achieve this goal. In fact, Ethic is the mean to consider the unity of the many and the multiplicity of the unit. Ethic could become a way to integrate the pragmatic work of managers and researchers with judgment require to take decisions in an increasingly complex environment.
Expert en qualité de vie au travail, leadership et développement organisationnel
Expert in Quality of Life at Work, Leadership and Organizational Development
Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotony, H., Schwastzman, S., Scott, P., & Trow, M. (1994), The new production of knowledge: The dynamic of science and research in contemporary societies, London: Sage.
Huff, A.S. and Huff, J.O. (2001), “Re-Focusing the Business School Agenda”, British Journal of Management, 12, Special Issue, S49-S54.
Huff, A.S. (2000), “ Changes in Organizational Knowledge Production”, Academy of Management Review, 25,2, 288-293.
Morin, E. (2004), Ethique, Paris: Seuil.
Schwandt, D.R. (2005), “When Managers Become Philosophers : Integrating Learning With Sensemaking “, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4, 2, 176-192.
Transfield, D. and Starkey, K. (1998), “The Nature, Social Organisation and Promotion of Management Research: Towards Policy”, British Journal of Management, 9, 341-353.