Action Leadership: Towards a Participatory Paradigm (Paperback)
  • Action Leadership: Towards a Participatory Paradigm (Paperback)
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Action Leadership: Towards a Participatory Paradigm (Paperback)

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£109.99
Paperback 258 Pages / Published: 28/09/2014
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Action leadership is a creative, innovative, collaborative and self-developed way to lead. It eschews the hierarchical structure usually associated with leadership and is based instead on the democratic values of freedom, equality, inclusion and self-realization. It take responsibility for, not control over, people through networking and orchestrating human energy towards a holistic outcome that benefits the common interest. Action leaders are passionate people who abide by the motto that "Learning does not mean to fill a barrel but rather to ignite a flame" in others. And in this time of rapid economic, political, technological, social and ecological changes, action leadership and action leaders are precisely what's needed to improve how people and organizations engage constructively to address the myriad complex issues challenging society at all levels.

Action Leadership: Towards a Participatory Paradigm explains and illustrates how action leadership can be developed through participatory action learning and action research (PALAR). It addresses real-life issues by people who choose to work collaboratively towards shared goals while developing their learning, insights, knowledge, people skills and personal relationships through involvement in a PALAR project. The book provides a conceptual framework for action leadership and for the integrative, practical theory of PALAR; and examples of applications in higher education, management education for organization development, and community development. Readers are encouraged to adopt, adapt and further develop the evolving concepts of action leadership and PALAR in a participatory paradigm of learning, research and development.

Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9789400796119
Number of pages: 258
Weight: 444 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 15 mm
Edition: 2011 ed.


MEDIA REVIEWS

From the reviews:

In this book, Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt's lifelong contribution through integrating diverse perspectives reaches its highpoint in the synthesis represented by the Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR) paradigm. She introduces the concept of Action Leadership as a way of being in the world that is congruent with this paradigm. Action Leadership is fundamentally other-centredness based on an enlightened consciousness, enduring compassion, and focused action that seeks to create a better world, whether in organizations, higher education or the community. The Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) is presented as an outstanding exemplar for this paradigm (PALAR) and this way of being (Action Leadership).
Ron Passfield, PhD, Organizational Consultant and Freelance Social Media Manager, Brisbane, Australia

Over a lifetime of diverse practice and teaching experiences, Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt has developed a uniquely broad and synthetic perspective linking participatory action learning and action research in a seamless approach that she calls PALAR. The present book, enriched by cases drawn from direct experience and anchored in the major philosophical and methodological positions that have inspired her work, provides a wonderful introduction to this complex subject for both those new to action learning and action research and for experienced practitioners. Written clearly and honestly, the book represents reflective practice at its best.
Davydd J. Greenwood, PhD, Goldwin Smith Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University, USA

Ortrun Zuber-Skerrit could not have found a better motto for her book: `Learning does not mean to fill a barrel, but to ignite a flame'. She presents an optimistic view of a networked democratic society that facilitates the active participation of all in shaping the world in which they live. The recent fiasco of neo-liberal ideology in the industrialized world provides a strong legitimation for this book. Here Ortrun synthesizes traditions of action research, action learning and participatory action research for the professional development of those who are primarily responsible for providing frame conditions for such a society: of academics in higher education and of managers and leaders in public and private fields. How this can work is vividly described in case studies referring to community development in developing countries. Her eclectic paradigm (Participatory Action Learning and Action Research) provides an excellent theoretical basis for a more inclusive and emancipatory view of learning and leadership.
Peter Posch, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Education and Consultant to the Institute of Instructional and School Development, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Austria

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt's decades of research and thinking on action learning and action research are here in Action Leadership, a facilitative leadership based on collaboration, inquiry and empirical data. Defining learning as `the ability to ignite a flame', Zuber-Skerritt does just that in her new book, which offers not only a most comprehensive coverage of this field, but also case studies to exemplify the theoretical concepts. This book is for all scholar-practitioners, and in particular those passionate leaders who want to develop thought leadership capacity in the workplace, who seek continual innovation and creativity through in-depth reflection on practice, and who understand that learning for all, particularly students, should be participatory and focused on lifelong skills of learning and creating new knowledge.
Jan Robertson, PhD, Academic Consultant and Senior Associate, NZ Coaching and Mentoring Centre, New Zealand

I have admired Ortrun's work since the 1980s. And now, after so many distinguished contributions, she counters the global resurgence of technocratic efficiency and intensification of measurable outcomes with the gift of a timely and inspirational book in which she argues for a more humane, organistic, and optimistic approach to human affairs. Modelling action leadership for all, she explores an interdependent relationship between personal and organizational development and between self-referential and collaborative modes of being. While many may feel they are about to be engulfed by the firestorm of rational self-interest raging within a ruthlessly competitive social order, she ignites the backfires of hope with a network of cooperative action plans. In developmental and interventionist ways, she empowers participants to understand and transform their groups and worlds. Her mindful and soulful book will help even (academic) managers to become more caring leaders capable of lifelong learning. By becoming more self-aware and generous, may we all become more self-managing and so benefit from self-supervision and other-concern.
C. T. Patrick Diamond, PhD Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt has again blazed new trails for us action researchers, as she has throughout her distinguished career. This time she inaugurates the new concept of Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR), a unique blend of action learning and action research dedicated toward emancipatory ends that can lead to a transformation in both the development and application of actionable knowledge. She then attaches PALAR to some of the enlightened views of leadership that have recently begun to tie it to the activities, not the attributes, of people as they are engaged, especially in dialogue about their own practice. She develops this path-breaking work all the while applying it to the contexts of higher education, management learning, and community development.
Joe Raelin, PhD, Professor and The Knowles Chair of Practice-Oriented Education and Director, Center for Work and Learning, Northeastern University, USA

It was a pleasure to read this book. Zuber-Skerritt draws upon her extensive wisdom, passion, experience and previous works to create an holistic and interconnected view of participatory action learning and action research (PALAR) that elevates it to greater heights than just a process for improvement. As she states, it is a way of life and being that sets and resets our moral compass. This is a book that will be read and enjoyed by students, teachers, philosophers, community workers and leaders from all sectors. It is practical whilst deeply theorised in a way that enables it to be read easily. I will be strongly recommending this book as a core text for my postgraduate students but I will also be using it to remind me to reset my own moral compass. It is a gem.
Eileen Piggot-Irvine, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the New Zealand Action Research and Review Centre (NZARRC), Unitec, Auckland, New Zealand

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt's new book is a masterpiece. Her reflected educational experience, her broad theoretical knowledge of teaching, learning and organizational change processes, her involvement and role in the Action Learning and Action Research community, her creativity and, last but not least, her clear ethical position are the ingredients for this book - a highlight in Ortrun's uvre. I strongly recommend this book to students, scholars and practitioners, for here they will gain a deep understanding of the new Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR) paradigm, its meaning and its transformation into practice, and of Action Leadership as an outcome of the integrated PALAR approach.
Stephan Laske, PhD, Professor, Institute for Organization and Learning, School of Management. University of Innsbruck, Austria

In this latest work, Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt places yet another important milestone along a lifetime's journey of inquiry and discovery - a journey which naturally mirrors her subject: action learning and action research. From the perspective of our institute, and fully aware of the decades-long duration of her contribution, we note with delight that she has solidly straddled the paradigms of the 21st century in relation to ambition, drive, leadership and success. For Ortrun has spent all that time in her ELEMENT. Renowned educator and author Dr Ken Robinson would say her life's work, and particularly her ascendance to the summit of her field, is due to the fact that she is engaging in a labour of love. Others would note that she has certainly put in the required 10,000 hours for mastery of any field or subject. Finally Daniel Pink, whose DRIVE remains at the top of the best-seller list and stands as a primary guide for 21st century leadership, would cite not only her mastery of her field, but also the purpose with which she applies the principles of participatory action learning and action research to the disadvantaged, thus reaching well beyond the realms of recognition and reward.
Bruce Stinson - Chairman, the alphaeight institute, Hong Kong

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt has many years of experience applying action learning and action research to the development and facilitation of project-based learning programs. In this eclectic and ground-breaking book, she applies her experience to the development of valuable concepts, models and processes for project-based leadership development.
Bob Dick, DLitt, Adjunct Professor, Southern Cross University and University of South Australia, Australia

Ortrun has written a remarkably insightful book that has profound implications and potential solutions for problems in the world at large. While the academic and scientific world is so often a competitive environment, she proposes an educational process that is an open and collaborative means of providing education to humanity. It is not an elitist view of education, but rather an inclusive and humanitarian process that opens the door to many who may not otherwise have educational opportunities. It is compelling in its style and impressive in content, with many case studies, philosophies and practical applications.
Abi O'Neill, Program Director, Mt Eliza Business School, Executive Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

This powerful work of scholarship represents one of the most important books on learning and leadership in a long time. Ortun Zuber-Skerritt proves once again why she is arguably the most trusted and experienced voice on action learning and action research in the world today. Her real strength lies in the capacity to intelligently synthesize complex literatures and constructs and, in the process, generate fresh concepts - like action leadership - not only to advance theory but to improve the practice of education in troubled contexts. All of this is done by placing human actors at the centre of the change agenda. Amidst the cacophony of voices on educational change, this is one book worth recommending to learners and leaders alike, often the same people.
Abi O'Neill, Program Director, Mt Eliza Business School, Executive Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

This powerful work of scholarship represents one of the most important books on learning and leadership in a long time. Ortun Zuber-Skerritt proves once again why she is arguably the most trusted and experienced voice on action learning and action research in the world today. Her real strength lies in the capacity to intelligently synthesize complex literatures and constructs and, in the process, generate fresh concepts - like action leadership - not only to advance theory but to improve the practice of education in troubled contexts. All of this is done by placing human actors at the centre of the change agenda. Amidst the cacophony of voices on educational change, this is one book worth recommending to learners and leaders alike, often the same people.
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Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

"Those interested in participatory approaches to learning, research, and business may find something worthwhile in this book. ... book is structured into two parts, theory and practice. ... It is clear and concise, particularly the literature review, which should be of especial interest to the non-academic audience. ... This book contributes to the literature in several ways; it succeeds in presenting a challenge to those who pursue a non-positivist way of life, but it also encourages one to use the leadership skills one may have." (Benjamin Kyneswood, Educational Research and Evaluation, Vol. 18 (2), February, 2012)

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