Research for Real: Enhancing generativity in action research

Edel Roddy, Cathy Sharp, Tamsin MacBride, Belinda Dewar

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Generativity is the processes and capacities that help people see old things in new ways through the creation of new images, metaphors, physical representations and so on. These elements change how people think so that new options for decisions or actions become available and compel people to want to act on them (Bushe, 2013). We are personally and professionally challenged by the idea that action researchers ‘should expand their epistemological capacity’ and ‘not delegate responsibility for presentational knowing in their lives to artists’ (Seeley, 2014). Our workshop will explore the offer of visual, tactile and evocative methodologies, including photo elicitation, emotional touchpoints and poetry to enhance generativity and bring greater depth and quality to presentational knowing (Heron & Reason, 1997). We have used a variety of approaches in health and social care contexts to increase the complexity and depth of thinking in collaborative inquiry. These approaches promote a richness and real-life-centric bias, as they expand and embrace respect for the hidden stories of experience, develop sensitivity to multiple constructions of realities and enable discussion of positive and negative emotions. In this way, they make an important contribution to a group’s ability to understand, and bring into being its collective aspirations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventCollaborative Action Research Network International Conference: Integrating the Personal and Political in Professional Practice - Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Nov 201613 Nov 2016


ConferenceCollaborative Action Research Network International Conference
Abbreviated titleCARN International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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