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

Meehan, Joanne; Touboulic, Anne; Walker, Helen

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Authors

Joanne Meehan

Helen Walker



Abstract

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.

Citation

Meehan, J., Touboulic, A., & Walker, H. (2016). Time to get real: the case for critical action research in purchasing and supply management. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 22, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pursup.2016.08.006

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 19, 2016
Publication Date Dec 31, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 22, 2017
Journal Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Print ISSN 1478-4092
Electronic ISSN 1478-4092
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pursup.2016.08.006
Keywords Action research; Critical management; Engaged research; Supply management research; Critical action research
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/831396
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1478409216300553

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