Title: How the arrow of feedback links the theories of organisational change: a multi-method use of action research

Authors: M.R. Kumar, P. Ranjan

Addresses: 71 Diesel Locomotive Works, Indian Railways, Banaras, 221004, India. ' Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, 781039, India

Abstract: This paper shows the implementation of |5S| – a Japanese concept of housekeeping – through action research methodology. The organisational issue it tackles is the cultural inhibition among the Indian population against cleaning. It uses soft systems methodology (SSM), action science and Schein|s idea of clinical enquiry to bring about an enduring change against this inhibition. On a theoretical level, this paper develops a model which integrates these three approaches to organisational change. It argues that it is possible to integrate these approaches based on the nature of feedback loop which can be termed as hard, soft, emanicipatory, and therapeutic churning.

Keywords: 5S; sorting straightening sweeping standardising sustaining; soft systems methodology; SSM; action science; clinical enquiry; India; cultural values; systems theory; railways; therapeutic churning; action research; organisational change; feedback loops; multi-method research; bureaucracy; housekeeping; cultural inhibitions; cleaning; Edgar Schein; hard feedback; emanicipatory feedback; locomotive manufacture; Banaras; learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2010.038766

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2010 Vol.4 No.4, pp.300 - 316

Published online: 02 Mar 2011 *

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