A History of the Action Learning, Action Research, and Process Management Association (ALARPM): From Brisbane (Australia) to the World Through Inclusion and Networks

Southern Cross University, Tweed Gold Coast Campus
Systemic Practice and Action Research (Impact Factor: 0.51). 07/2003; 16(4):237-281. DOI: 10.1023/A:1025085221964


Action Learning, Action Research, and Process Management Association (ALARPM) is an organization of volunteers dedicated to the international expansion of action learning, action research, and process management, through world congresses. It has existed for over a dozen years now, despite significant stresses and strains, and has successfully conducted five world congresses with a sixth one in 2003. This history of ALARPM shows that a small group can set out to be international and inclusive from the beginning, so long as it also develops processes to sustain itself internally.

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    • "Researchers must recognise themselves as agents of change and key instruments of the study; with their role being to design a process that can produce the relevant information that can lead to action and subsequent improvement (Martin 2001). The core of action learning (Swepson et al. 2003) is the researcher's ability to ask fresh questions and to mentor people to find their own answers. Once the initial planning stage is over, the role of the researcher is to guard the process and critically reflect on their own strategic actions, hence continuing the action research cycle which in turn leads to the uncovering of new interpretations and perspectives (Martin 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines a case study where mind mapping is used within an action research project to foster improved community group effectiveness and decision-making. The case study focusses on the social dynamics experienced during the formative stage of a community action group in Byron Bay, New South Wales; one of a network of such groups, formed to ensure that sustainable environmental management practices are followed in proposed coal-seam gas developments. In the context of examining systemic social interactions within such a group, the study recognises both the importance of communication and the susceptibility of individuals to certain behavioural patterns. Negative emergent norms led to excessive behaviours that threatened to hinder effective communication and group behaviour. Use of mind mapping countered this negative tendency, focussing the inherent positive qualities of the group, and thus enabling more efficient decision-making. Shown to be an effective tool for overcoming communication barriers and increasing cohesion; its power lies in maintaining process transparency, removing power-structures and ego-centric personal barriers, hence facilitating effective communal knowledge sharing, clarification, idea crystallisation, and planning.
    05/2014; DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.132130
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this article is to provide a design and implementation framework for ALAR (action learning action research) programme which aims to address collaborative improvement in the extended manufacturing enterprise. Design/methodology/approach – This article demonstrates the design of a programme in which action learning and action research were used in combination (ALAR). The participants in the EME engaged in action learning on their work on collaborative improvement in the supply chain. The action learning was studied through action research cycles of action and reflection. Findings – This implementation of the ALAR programme consolidated the design of ten meetings across three stages and adds to other design models within ALAR approach. Research limitations/implications – This is one particular research programme, from which learning may be extrapolated. Practical implications – This article provides a practical design framework for ALAR programmes on collaborative improvement in the EME. Originality/value – The article extends the application of an ALAR programme design into the inter-organisational setting.
    The Learning Organization 03/2006; 13(2):152-165. DOI:10.1108/09696470610645485
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    ABSTRACT: The organization of rural health research in Canada has been a recent development. Over the past 8 years, rural and remote researchers from more than 15 universities and agencies across Canada have engaged in a process of research capacity building through the development of a network, the Canadian Rural Health Research Society (CRHRS) among the scientifically and geographically diverse researchers and their community partners. The purpose of this article is to discuss the development of the CRHRS as well as the challenges and lessons learned about creating networks and building capacity among rural and remote health researchers. Key elements of network development have included identifying and developing multidisciplinary research groupings, maintaining ongoing connections among researchers, and promoting the sharing of expertise and resources for research training. The focus has been on supporting research excellence among networks of researchers in smaller centres. Activities include a national annual scientific meeting, the informal formation of several regional and national research networks in specific areas, and the development of training opportunities. Challenges have included the issues of sustaining communication, addressing a range of networking and capacity-enhancement needs, cooperating in an environment that rewards competition, obtaining resources to support a secretariat and research activities, and balancing the demands to foster research excellence with the needs to create infrastructure and advocate for adequate research funding. The CRHRS has learned how to begin to support researchers with diverse interests and needs across sectors and wide geographical areas, specifically by: (1) focusing on research development through creating and supporting trusting connections among researchers; (2) building the science first, followed by infrastructure development; (3) making individual researchers the nodes in the network; (4) being inclusive by accommodating a wide variety of researchers and researcher strengths; (5) emphasizing social exchange, knowledge exchange, and mentoring in annual scientific meetings; (6) taking opportunities to develop separate projects while finding ways to link them; (7) finding a balance between advancing the science and advocating for adequate funding and appropriate peer review; (8) developing a network organizational structure that is both stable and flexible; and (9) maintaining sustained visionary leadership.
    Rural and remote health 01/2007; 7(1):622. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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