David Coghlan

David Coghlan
Trinity College Dublin | TCD · Trinity Business School

BA. Bacc Theol. M.Sc. SM.Ph.D. MA

About

201
Publications
63,950
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Introduction
David Coghlan is Professor Emeritus at Trinity Business School Trinity College Dublin , Ireland.
Additional affiliations
September 1994 - present
Trinity College Dublin

Publications

Publications (201)
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines power dynamics and political challenges which an insider action researcher without line authority or formal power encountered while leading cross-functional New Service Development (NSD) initiatives in a traditional, publicly funded university. NSD, as any development activity, faces competing interests in organisations and ofte...
Article
Purpose The article brings the quality characteristics of action research to project management and explores how these quality characteristics of well-designed and executed action research can inform and enhance the practice of project management. Design/methodology/approach A reflective paper. Findings The article identifies five imperatives in...
Article
Contemplation has been defined as “taking a long loving look at the real.” In the realm of the scholarship of nursing and midwifery, the pulls and counterpulls between disease and illness and between patient and person, for example, require that scholars and practitioners develop an understanding of the way their minds work and of the way they come...
Article
Green process innovation is itself a complex process and beneficially involves inter-organizational collaboration across disciplinary, industry and university-industry boundaries with many opportunities for network action learning. We investigate how green process innovation yields actionable knowledge when co-directed, co-developed and co-deployed...
Article
Full-text available
The act of theorising turns the attention from the outcome of theory generation to the act of theory generation itself. Revans' systems alpha, beta and gamma provide a foundational action theory that grounds the theorising process in action learning. This is the core of theorising in the praxeology of action learning as creating practical theory or...
Article
Full-text available
Action research has long adopted an integrative approach to research as incorporating three inquiries and voices: the first-person voice of individuals inquiring into their own thinking and learning, the second- person inquiry into the collaborative engagements between the actors as co-researchers and the third-person contribution to knowledge for...
Article
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Background: Action research (AR) starts with an existing practical situation with which there is a concern or potential for improvement. It seeks transformative change through the simultaneous process of doing research and undertaking actions, both of which are linked together by a critical reflective process. It simultaneously allows one to system...
Article
In this essay, we are arguing that the field of organizational change and development is positioned to face the challenges of researching change and changing for the next decade and beyond. The core values in the field—that researching change and enacting changing are collaborative ventures undertaken in the present tense where the outcome is actio...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Traditional research approaches are increasingly challenged in healthcare contexts as they produce abstract thinking rather than practical application. In this regard, action research is a growing area of popularity and interest, essentially because of its dual focus on theory and action. However, there is a need for action researchers...
Article
Background: Traditional research approaches are increasingly challenged in healthcare contexts as they produce abstract thinking rather than practical application. In this regard, action research is a growing area of popularity and interest, essentially because of its dual focus on theory and action. However, there is a need for action researchers...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1984, the European Union (EU) has supported research and development activities covering almost all scientific disciplines through a series of multi-annual Framework Programmes. The current programme is Horizon 2020. Common across the key indicators of research project performance have been actions by companies, including introduce and test i...
Article
This article explores how P (programmed learning) in Revans’ formula L=P + Q accumulates from one action learning research initiative to another. Drawing on three inter-organizational action learning research initiatives, it shows how the L (learning) from conducting action learning in an initiative in one network built new P on network action lear...
Article
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Drawing on insider research with a three-year EU network created to support innovation in geographically marginalized traditional food companies, this paper makes three contributions to discussions of innovation in small and micro-firms. First, we shift focus away from conceiving of knowledge as a discrete entity, and of knowledge sharing, transfer...
Conference Paper
Green innovation concerns little known environmental problems which can be particularly challenging for organisations to address. Given that green process innovation relies on inter-organisational collaboration, we explore the following research question: how is new actionable knowledge generated and accumulated during green process innovation? We...
Article
This article explores Edgar Schein’s sociopsychological model of change by relating Schein’s reflections on how he derived it from and extended Lewin’s model and how it informs contemporary change theory. Schein’s accounts of how he created his change model provides something of a mirror into his process of theorizing. The aim of this article is to...
Article
This article explores how abductive reasoning is central to Mode 2 organization development and change (ODC) research, despite the rarity with which it is made explicit. It differentiates between Peirce’s notions of deduction, induction, and abduction in the field of ODC and explores how Mode 2 ODC research, particularly that involving collaboratio...
Chapter
This chapter informs current research and practice in organization development and change (ODC) with an actionable knowledge of the social science philosophies. It adds value to the scholarship of ODC by charting the progression of philosophies of social science, by showing how researchers in ODC structure their inquiry based on the inherent philos...
Article
Research is typically taught to undergraduates as an analytic activity with a focus on engaging with externalized data. Rarely are undergraduates taught to inquire into settings and situations where they are close to the data and implicated in the setting. Exploring Organizational Experiences is a final-year undergraduate business course that provi...
Article
Contemporary social science philosophy is bedevilled with debates about the nature of knowledge production. This article introduces the philosophical notion of interiority whereby, by focusing on the operations of knowledge production in the human mind, OD scholars and researchers can ground Modes 1 and 2 in a bigger picture of what is common to al...
Article
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In the context of business and management action research operates in the realm of strategies, practical tasks and structured hierarchical organizational systems in diverse industries and across multiple business functions and disciplines. This article reflects on action research in in generating actionable knowledge in this particular domain and s...
Article
While debates about the nature of ‘doctorateness’ are prevalent in higher education, what this might mean in the context of insider action research, where action research is undertaken by members of an organisation or community, has not received any attention. This article explores how an insider action research engagement in a thesis and core proj...
Article
To mark Edgar H. Schein’s 90th birthday, a metalogue between him and David Coghlan took place to explore selected themes of their shared organization development scholarship. A metalogue is a reflective dialogue where the mode of conversation reflects the topic being explored. The themes explored are interiority, a philosophy of practical knowing,...
Article
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Learning history is a well delineated action research process consisting of consecutive stages of inquiry where groups and individuals engage in learning and reflecting on their past shared, but often multiple, experiences as these are recorded in a ‘learning history’. Learning history has much in common with other forms of action research in that...
Article
Given the opportunity to reflect as we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Organization Development Journal we note a number of emerging challenges and opportunities that are causing us to rethink the future of researching the field. OD has always been understood as holding a dual identity: a professional field of social action and an area of scienti...
Article
Full-text available
Collaboration has become a common way for organizational actors to engage in problem solving and innovation. Yet shifting from strategic interactions (driven by reduction of transaction costs) to transformational interaction (driven by collaborative transorganizational development) appears to be difficult to achieve in practice in a network setting...
Article
This article explores how Revan’s praxeology and learning formula act as the foundation for the authors’ enactment of the scholarship of their teaching practice. Linking to accreditation requirement of assurance of learning the authors describe two undergraduate courses that they teach and reflect on how Revan’s praxeology of systems alpha, beta an...
Article
Purpose Doctoral education (DE) is central to the development and application of operations management (OM) thinking. The European Doctoral Educational Network (EDEN) seminar on research methodology in OM is a structured initiative developed in 1999 by European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) and European Institute for Advanced Studies i...
Article
In this article, we pose two questions. What is the process of valuing in the structure of human knowing? And, how might individual values become collective values in the context of educational action research? For our answer we explore how first-, second- and third-person practices form the foundation in values-based ethics in action research. The...
Article
The aim: is to unpack the key concepts of action research and implementation science thereby enabling appropriate use of these methods in nursing. Background: A key issue in action research is not so much the methodology employed to gather data/evidence but who decides the research agenda and who benefits from it. Implementation science is a way...
Chapter
Edgar H. Schein’s contributions to the field of organizational studies are far reaching. He was one of the first to formulate the field of organizational psychology in 1965, and he led the development of the field of organization development (OD) through his editorship of the pioneering Addison-Wesley OD series in 1969. He framed a philosophy of be...
Article
This article was provoked by a comment that action research is not considered research as research is commonly known. At the heart of most organization development (OD) work there is commitment to the generation of scholarly knowledge that can guide practice. The article reflects some of the core principles of OD through action research and explore...
Chapter
For 30 years the series, Research in Organizational Change and Development (ROCD) has provided an extensive range of scholarly research and philosophical reflections on the field of organization development and change (ODC). On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the first volume, this chapter poses the question as to how we might learn about t...
Article
Lewin’s contribution to social science is extensive. This paper takes Lewin’s notion of defining the field at a given time and brings it into the arena of action research to make explicit links between attending and inquiring in the present tense and the collaborative dynamics of action research within the social space of a change process. Inquirin...
Chapter
Edgar H. Schein’s contributions to the field of organizational studies are far reaching. He was one of the first to formulate the field of organizational psychology in 1965, and he led the development of the field of organization development (OD) through his editorship of the pioneering Addison-Wesley OD series in 1969. He framed a philosophy of be...
Article
Full-text available
Case studies are a useful means of capturing and sharing experiential knowledge by allowing researchers to explore the social, organisational and political contexts of a specific case. Although accounts of action learning are often reported using a case study approach, it is not common to see individual case studies being used as a learning practic...
Chapter
Full-text available
PurposeThe chapter describes and reflects upon an EU-funded research initiative, TRADEIT, which has attempted to develop a learning network among European traditional food producers as one way of contributing to the economic sustainability of the ventures, the social sustainability of the food’s regional character and the environmental sustainabili...
Article
The practice of action research has been an integral element of organization development research since the beginning. Collaborative management research (CMR) is viewed as a modality within the broad family of action research approaches. By design, CMR aims to facilitate collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the investigation of an...
Article
The aim of this article is to frame a philosophy of practical knowing for Action Research. In the context of the extended epistemology welladopted by Action Research, there has not been much elaboration of what practical knowing involves. In a third-person mode, this article explores what Aristotle, Husserl, Schutz, Dewey and Lonergan have said abo...
Book
Full-text available
Research Methods for Operations Management, second edition is a toolkit of research approaches primarily for advanced students and beginner researchers but also a reference book for any researcher in OM. Many students begin their career in research limited by the one or few approaches taken by their department. The concise, accessible overviews fou...
Chapter
Edgar H. Schein’s contributions to the field of organizational studies are far reaching. He was one of the first to formulate the field of organizational psychology in 1965, and he led the development of the field of organization development (OD) through his editorship of the pioneering Addison-Wesley OD series in 1969. He framed a philosophy of be...
Article
Managers face increasing pressure to find ways to surface, utilize and integrate bits and pieces of relevant knowledge that reside within and outside the organizational boundaries to address emerging challenges. Grappling with this issue and based on a longitudinal study with a biopharma company, this paper offers the notion that insider action res...
Article
Sensemaking is an integral element of human cognition. It is the activity whereby we find answers to questions that arise from experience. It is at the core of collaborative management research as researchers and practitioners work together to build a shared understanding of organizational phenomena and take action based on that understanding, ther...
Article
The purpose of this symposium is to bring together scholars to discuss different ways of applying action research in the area of business model development. Specifically, we would like to take into consideration different levels of analysis like focal firm and inter-firm/ecosystem in order to address both internal and external business models. This...
Article
The practice of action research has been an integral element of organization development (OD) research since the beginning. Collaborative management research may be understood as a modality within the broad family of action research approaches and it aims to make researchers and practitioners work together to achieve outcomes that are both relevant...
Article
Palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from the impact of life-limiting illnesses. Palliative care encompasses but is more than end-of-life care, which is defined as care during the final hours/days/weeks of life. Although palliative care policies increasingly require all healthcare professionals to have at leas...
Article
The purpose of the paper is to present a framework that enables action researchers to create quality action research projects within the organization development (OD) domain using the broad criteria of being rigorous, reflective and relevant and so contribute to the realm of practical knowing. What constitutes good quality action research within OD...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the fundamental question “can insider action research approach trigger and enhance simultaneously executive development and company performance”. To answer this question the framework of first, second and third person practice is useful in capturing the range of experiences and challenges that the e...
Article
As a research paradigm, collaborative research brings together practitioners and researchers for the purpose of creating knowledge that is relevant to practice and added value to theoretical development. The collaborative effort tends to bridge the rigor–relevance gap. In Kieser and Leiner’s article “Collaborate With Practitioners: But Beware of Co...
Article
Stepping back from four years of work on the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research, its editors here take an opportunity to reflect on what they've learned through the process about the current state of action research and to consider how this might inform what comes next for the broader action research community. This is the first in a series of th...
Article
This article explores how action learning undertaken in a network in the transportation equipment industry enabled a supply chain network, established to deliver customer service and productivity, to generate shared operational and strategic insight into collaborative improvement, leading to systemic change and improved practice and performance in...
Article
Full-text available
Social space and field theory were central to the pioneering social psychology of Kurt Lewin and the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. However, these constructs were left behind as systematic tools for building organizational theory and guiding practice. Although researchers have increasingly been exploring the issue of space in organizations, these tr...
Book
There are four core themes developed in Patient-Centred Health Care which deal with critical issues, models, theories and frameworks (both theoretical and empirical) that expound understandings of patient centred care and the processes, practices and behaviours supporting its attainment: 1. Conceptions and cultures of patient-centred care 2. Coo...
Article
Insider action research describes the process when a member of an organisation undertakes an explicit action research role in addition to the normal functional roles they hold in an organisation. Real-world work-based research is relevant and important to many full-time managers, consultants and members of organisations including those who choose t...
Article
Within the developing exploration of the role of the scholar-practitioner, the situation in which scholar-practitioners engage in the scholarship of practice in their own organizational systems has not received much attention. This chapter adopts the position that scholar-practitioners are not merely practitioners who do research but rather that th...
Article
Full-text available
Insider inquiry involves being immersed in local situations and generating contextually embedded knowledge which emerges from direct experience. It requires a method that facilitates attending to observable data, envisaging possible explanations of that data and selecting as probable or certain the explanations which provide the best account for th...
Article
This chapter talks about the perspective of organizational-development (OD) as action research and collaborative management research and explores how a focus on a collaborative intervention is grounded in an insight into what is required and what any particular OD research intervention contributes. First, the chapter grounds the issue of selecting...
Article
Full-text available
Insider inquiry involves being immersed in local situations and generating contextually embedded knowledge which emerges from direct experience. It requires a method that facilitates attending to observable data, envisaging possible explanations of that data and selecting as probable or certain the explanations which provide the best account for th...
Article
How first person practice engages with the process of valuing has not received much attention in action research. This article takes the question, 'what will I do?' as the foundation for first person ethical inquiry. It explores the process of how we are able to experience, to understand and to make value judgements about what is 'worthwhile' or 't...
Chapter
Health service research, particularly that emanating from sociology, has long recognized the hierarchical nature of the hospital environment. Issues concerning power, empowerment, participation and different kinds of knowledge are highlighted with the voices of some groups being silenced or dominated by others. Such issues are also of central conce...
Article
In Revans' learning formula, L = P + Q, Q represents ‘questioning insight’, by which Revans means that insight comes out of the process of questioning programmed knowledge (P) in the light of experience. We typically focus on the content of an insight rather than on the act of insight. Drawing primarily on the work of Bernard Lonergan this paper di...
Article
Action research in the acute hospital environment is made complex by competing and unequal voices. Acute hospitals and care in this sense refer to those intended for short-term treatment of illnesses. Care is provided by specialist teams comprising members of different disciplines/professions and is overseen by a complex hospital management and adm...
Article
Purpose – To identify the key success factors in a change process and to demonstrate how adherence to the phases of large-scale change contributed to the successful reform of the Irish cancer services and is critical to the sustainability of this large-scale change. Design – In-depth retrospective analytical case study drawing from face- to-face se...
Article
Full-text available
Action learning is a term that is used with a wide range of meanings: from an equivalent term for experiential learning to a philosophy of learning. This chapter takes the latter position and focuses on action learning as a scholarly activity. The chapter has two main sections. In the first part the breadth and depth of action learning is introduce...
Article
Action research and collaborative management research emerge from different traditions and each begins from a different foundational position in regard to action and to collaboration. Both are different from the traditional research, evaluative research or practitioner research orientations. From a grounding in a philosophy of practical knowing as...
Article
Full-text available
Action research provides a framework for developing practice in health-care. While developing practice typically implies a combination of patient centeredness, quality improvement and change, conflicts arise in how concepts such as patient centredness are defined. Developing practice invites attention to positionality and engagement with policy dir...
Article
Action research in the acute hospital environment is made complex by competing and unequal voices. Acute hospitals and care in this sense refer to those intended for short-term treatment of illnesses. Care is provided by specialist teams comprising members of different disciplines/professions and is overseen by a complex hospital management and adm...
Article
Action research provides a framework for developing practice in healthcare. While developing practice typically implies a combination of patient centeredness, quality improvement and change, conflicts arise in how concepts such as patient centeredness are defined. Developing practice invites attention to positionality and engagement with policy dir...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on their experience in a Midwest healthcare system, the authors propose a model of leadership development through action learning that embraces ‘concentric collaboration’ at its core. The present study suggests that the process of concentric collaboration can serve to strengthen the skills of the individual leader as well as foster collecti...
Article
In the context of management and organization studies, the potential of action research for generating robust actionable knowledge has not been yet realized. While there are historical reasons for this with roots in different philosophies of social science, there are areas of common ground that may be explored fruitfully. This paper works from the...
Article
'Coughlan and Coghlan has advanced the field of action learning to an even higher and more powerful level in this great book. The authors provide clear guidance on how to strategically and systemically improve an organization through network action learning. The book is filled with examples of how a disciplined approach to action learning that is b...
Article
As the field of action-oriented research becomes increasingly diffuse and diverse, this paper seeks to identify common ground across the multiple modalities of action research and collaborative management research through articulating and exploring a general empirical method that is grounded in the recognizable structure of human knowing. This meth...
Article
The philosophical foundations of action learning research have not received a great deal of attention. In the context of action learning postgraduate and professional programmes in universities, articulation of a philosophy of action learning research seems timely and appropriate. This article explores a philosophy of action learning research, grou...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The premise the world is experiencing a leadership crisis is shared by both academics and practitioners. Leveraging leadership capability remains a critical challenge for contemporary organisations. Yet, leadership development remains problematic as the existing multibillion dollar leadership industry is failing to deliver results. Only 13% of employees feel engaged in their organization worldwide, 86% of the 1,500 of the world’s foremost global experts believe that the world is currently experiencing a leadership crisis, and citizens around the world lack confidence in public and private sector leaders and organisations are worried they do not have enough good leaders.