Time to get real: the case for critical action research in purchasing and supply management

Meehan, Joanne, Touboullic, Anne and Walker, Helen (2016) Time to get real: the case for critical action research in purchasing and supply management. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 22 . pp. 255-257. ISSN 1478-4092

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In fragile and often complex supply chains, PSM failures continue to be reported in the media, often with severe economic, social and environmental consequences. To encourage organisations to engage in responsible PSM, we need engaged research. In this paper we argue that Action Research (AR) is an influential, participative method to challenge the more dominant versions of PSM impacts, which tend to focus only on the positive, and often only monetised elements of what is valued. AR places change at the core of the research process, requiring critical reflexive practice of the impact of assumptions, values and actions on others. We argue that PSM research has more potential for influence if it starts from a ‘real’ problem anchored in practice, and that crucially, the problem itself should be challenged dialogically by scholars, practitioners and diverse stakeholders. Critical AR can reframe performance from a technical, company-centric notion to explore broader relationships between inputs and outputs over a longer time frame. We explore the risks and rewards of Critical AR for PSM scholars and draw conclusions on our role as engaged advocates of change.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/831396
Keywords: Action research; Critical management; Engaged research; Supply management research; Critical action research
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pursup.2016.08.006
Depositing User: Howis, Jennifer
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 11:24
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:23
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41415

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