Collaborative Action Research: A Dynamic Intervention Project to Create a Purposeful Virtual Community-of-Practice

Abstract

This is a chronological account of a 2-year inductive collaborative action research by Cranfield University on Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services’ efforts to form a virtual community-of-practice for connecting geographically dispersed project professionals. As organizations increasingly rely on more “hands-on” learning over traditional education, researchers will have to adopt study strategies that can balance academic and business needs. The focus of the case reported here is the collaborative action research process. It was designed to be academically rigorous for the research institution, yet practically useful for the participating organization. The extended duration of the study was key, as it allowed both early active collaboration and later, close-quarter independent observation by the research institution, including the production of periodic feedback to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Service management for dynamic intervention.

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