Title

Critical Action Research in Human Resource Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Human Resource Development Review

ISSN

1534-4843

Volume

14

Issue

2

DOI

10.1177/1534484315581934

First Page

185

Last Page

204

Publication Date

June 2015

Abstract

Critical approaches to HRD do not focus solely on improving organizational performance; instead, they address previously undiscussable issues such as power, politics, class, alternative work structures, sexism, racism, and heterosexism. As critical HRD often seeks to raise problems instead of immediately solve them, it is sometimes criticized for being elitist or detached from practice. This article addresses how critical approaches to action research can allow practitioners and researchers to integrate critical approaches into actual practice. Critical action research provides a mechanism for ensuring that critical HRD research is grounded in the realities of real-world practice. A model is presented for considering practitioner-oriented research in HRD, which forms the theoretical basis for using action research as a methodological stance for critical HRD. An overview is provided of foundational literature of critical HRD and action research, followed by a discussion of the practical implications for conducting critical action research within the HRD field.