This chapter reflects on the implications of constructing research which aims to be critical, relational and transformative in organisations under financial pressure due to austerity. It finds that apreciative inquiry can assist in establishing collaboration, building trust and energy, and closing the gaps between critical perspective and practice. However it also observes a number of limitations on the transformational potential of action research, particularly in an institutionalised context subject to strong contending forces. It concludes that unless specifically briefed and empowered to deliver change, researchers should be realistic about their work forming one offering amongst a polyphony of voices.
Gardner, A. (2018). Lipstick on a pig?: appreciative inquiry in a context of austerity. In K. P. Bartles, & J. M. Wittmayer (Eds.), Action research in policy analysis: critical and relational approaches to sustainability transitions (159-174). Abingdon: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)