How a case study utilizing action learning and action research enhanced public service excellence on a Federal research campus


  • Christopher Sigle Norwich University
  • Emmanuel Tetteh Norwich University


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.

Author Biographies

Christopher Sigle, Norwich University

Dr. Christopher Sigle is a faculty member in the Master of Public Administration program with Norwich University. After having served 26 years as a military professional in the US Air Force, he retired in 2006 and joined the Federal Civil Service resuming work with the Department of Defense (DoD) from 2006-2010. Since 2010, he has been working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado and also serves as Vice Chairman of the Colorado Federal Executive Board. In both capacities, he provides leadership in areas pertaining to emergency program management, workforce development and intergovernmental collaboration.

He completed his undergraduate degree with Texas A&M Commerce and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at Troy State University. In 2018, he completed a Doctorate in Public Administration (DPA) degree at Capella University. The dissertation involved a “Collaborative Action for Shared Services’ Support Program Improvement: Outcome-Based Evaluative Case Study.” The topic relates to public service excellence with a focus on action research, public value, social capital and shared services.

Emmanuel Tetteh, Norwich University

Dr. Emmanuel N. A. Tetteh is a core faculty member in Norwich University's Master of Public Administration program, Policy Analysis and Analytics Concentration. He has a vast range of professional experience, ranging from community service, religious service projects and faith-based initiatives, nonprofit management, security management, higher education administrative services, and teaching and learning facilitation for adult learners from diverse backgrounds via face-to-face and online learning platforms. Among others, he is the author of Theories of Democratic Governance in the Institutions of Higher Education, and is currently working on several other scholarly publications in topical journals. He is a faculty member in the public administration and nonprofit leadership program in the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University and also teaches for the Metropolitan College of New York, and the College of New Rochelle.



How to Cite

Sigle, C., & Tetteh, E. (2020). How a case study utilizing action learning and action research enhanced public service excellence on a Federal research campus. Action Learning and Action Research Journal, 26(2), 45–76. Retrieved from