In this paper I address two questions: do their dissimilarities prevent action research (AR) and actor-network theory (ANT) from being used together? If not, how can they complement each other? To do so, I discuss literature from each approach, the only two studies I found that combine AR and ANT (both from organization management) and anecdotes from my field-work experience on the participatory management of urban spaces. On one hand, combining AR and ANT helped me deal with the unpredictability of collaborative research projects by 1) helping me adapt to circumstances while remaining aware of my agency, and 2) report systematically on diverse interactions while also letting a shared vocabulary and narrative emerge. On the other, my adherence to the principles of each approach and the comparability of my experience were affected by a lack of both time and control over the processes in which I was involved. I hope to support a debate that crosses disciplinary and methodological boundaries about the realities of doing collaborative inquiry, not by seeking normative statements about research practice, but by emphasizing how the latter cannot exist without a complex network of relations that inevitably affect its validity.

Reflections on Combining Action Research and Actor-Network Theory / Piovesan, Federico. - In: ACTION RESEARCH. - ISSN 1476-7503. - ELETTRONICO. - (2020). [10.1177/1476750320919167]

Reflections on Combining Action Research and Actor-Network Theory

Federico Piovesan
2020

Abstract

In this paper I address two questions: do their dissimilarities prevent action research (AR) and actor-network theory (ANT) from being used together? If not, how can they complement each other? To do so, I discuss literature from each approach, the only two studies I found that combine AR and ANT (both from organization management) and anecdotes from my field-work experience on the participatory management of urban spaces. On one hand, combining AR and ANT helped me deal with the unpredictability of collaborative research projects by 1) helping me adapt to circumstances while remaining aware of my agency, and 2) report systematically on diverse interactions while also letting a shared vocabulary and narrative emerge. On the other, my adherence to the principles of each approach and the comparability of my experience were affected by a lack of both time and control over the processes in which I was involved. I hope to support a debate that crosses disciplinary and methodological boundaries about the realities of doing collaborative inquiry, not by seeking normative statements about research practice, but by emphasizing how the latter cannot exist without a complex network of relations that inevitably affect its validity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2762232