Last February 14, 2017, the De La Salle University Center for Business Research and Development held a seminar entitled “Philosophy and Theory in Practice: Critical realism and action science for emancipatory action research,” which was delivered by Dr. Tim Rogers, a lecturer from the University of South Australia’s Teaching Innovation Unit.
Dr. Rogers has an academic background in both the humanities and social sciences. Among his principal interests include organizational learning, implementation, and strategic process, and the link between individual actions and larger organizational patterns of behavior. He draws mostly on action science, an approach closely associated with Chris Argyris, and strategy dynamics, a sub-discipline of system dynamics.
He has previously applied these approaches in his consulting engagements with the South Australia Department of Health, Australian Government Solicitor, and Telstra. At the moment, he is managing the implementation of learning analytics at the University of South Australia.
Dr. Rogers’ talk focuses on the notion that “integrating philosophy with theory and practice makes for a better philosophy, theory, and practice.” The lecture draws on critical realism to develop a notion of “emancipation,” and that emancipation per se is integral in the work of social scientists. The lecture further drew on these points through action science and illustrative case studies.