How a case study utilizing action learning and action research enhanced public service excellence on a Federal research campus
Keywords:Action Learning, Action Research, Participatory Action Research, Case Study, Shared Services, Public Value, Social Capital, Collaborative Action
This case study used action learning and action research to examine the ways that the Shared Services Support Program (SSSP) could enhance the primary science mission on a federal research campus. This included the investigation into the role that social capital plays in meeting or exceeding customer expectations. The collaborative efforts of stakeholders’ values were also examined as to how they contribute to the effectiveness, efficiency, and improvement of the SSSP. Schalock’s (2001) outcome-based evaluative (OBE) case study approach was used within the Participatory Action Research (PAR) framework along with 21 stakeholder participants who provided rich and meaningful data from their extensive experience with the SSSP. The context, input, process, product (CIPP) logic model was used along with Stringer’s (2014) Look-Think-Act (LTA) approach as a framework to facilitate data collection and analysis. Five themes emerged: mission support quality, rationale for program patronage, the value of campus shared services, process improvement opportunities, and stakeholder perceived constraints. The findings led to the development of a strategic action plan for SSSP improvement and the promotion of collaborative actions across organizational boundaries.
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