An HR student’s search for relevancy
Keywords:Action research, HRM research, Crisis of relevancy, Researcher-practitioner divide
The following details how my PhD journey and dissertation reflected the ethos of Action Research (AR), a research paradigm that emphasizes collaborative knowledge creation between researchers and community members with the aim of solving practical, real-world problems. I first provide context with a brief background about myself and my understanding of the core principles of AR, followed by discussion of a perceived crisis in the practical relevancy of management research and psychometric-focused human resource management (HRM) research. I then return to personal matters to discuss the evolution of my dissertation and how it might qualify as participatory research in spirit if not entirely in practice. I highlight specific challenges with thesis writing, working with supervisors, and the examination process, and reflect on how my individual challenges may be generalizable to other PhD students seeking to produce impactful and practicable research.
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