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Why Action Research and Quality Management is such a Nice Match: And How to Make them Dance without Falling
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering. (Kvalitetsteknik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5431-0392
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering. (Kvalitetsteknik)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8731-8040
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Computer and System science.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Computer and System science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6593-909X
2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the 21st QMOD conference: The Quality Movement, Where are we going ? - Past Present and Future, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose

For anyone digging into the concepts, it becomes obvious that action research and quality management are a really nice match. They share many of their conceptual roots, intentions, core principles/dimensions and processes. Current best practice of quality management can even be understood as doing and strengthening action research processes, in terms of the Plan-do-study-act cycle (PDSA), in organizations. However, the choice, design and application of action research within quality management research is surprisingly seldom discussed or shared. The purpose of this paper is hence to elaborate on how action research and quality management are closely interrelated and how action research can be used more frequently and successfully in quality management research. In addition, the paper hopes to contribute to revitalizing what could be considered the most fundamental practice of quality management: the PDSA cycle.    

Method

The paper is based on a conceptual discussion combined with illustrative experiences and learnings from several research projects that have applied action research to develop the field of Quality Management. The projects and examples illustrate and share both experiences of dancing at its best and a few uncomfortable falls.

 

Findings

The paper identifies several critical factors to consider when designing and applying action research within quality management research. 

 

Practical Implications

As action research is defined by its double aim, developing both scientific knowledge and practice, the ability to successfully design and apply action research in quality management research has large practical implications. One obvious risk if this dance fails is that academic researchers draw back from practice and their ambitions of developing and contributing to practice in their research. The findings of the paper are hoped to increase the number of successful future applications of action research within quality management.

 

Originality

The study provide insights in an area sparsely discussed in previous academic work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Action research, Quality Management, Research design, Total Quality Management, Lean
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34479OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-34479DiVA, id: diva2:1250419
Conference
21st QMOD-ICQSS conference, August 22-24, 2018 Cardiff, Wales, UK
Projects
SMICE
Funder
Interreg Sweden-NorwayAvailable from: 2018-09-24 Created: 2018-09-24 Last updated: 2018-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Lilja, JohanSnyder, KristenAhlin, KarinPersson Slumpi, Thomas

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