GM505 Action Research and Consulting Skills
October 26 ,2010
Critical Mass Analysis
In order for a researcher to conduct an action research analysis several factors must be determined. The specific purpose for the research, the components, and stakeholders. My action research project is to address a specific problem my agency has with employee retention within the patrol division during the past three years. In conducting a critical mass analysis it is important to determine who has influence and can assist with making suggestions on changes or give necessary data. Stringer (2007) states, "action research is a systematic approach to investigation that enables people to find effective solutions to problems they confront in their everyday lives" (p. 1). In this critical mass analysis I will detail the level of involvement of the stakeholders who are involved or should be involved in resolving the problem. Action research facilitator's role is to assist the organization and the involved parties in determining the problem and then to assist them is determining the best resolution that is effective and efficient for the organization and its stakeholders. Roles and Involvement
When conducting an critical mass analysis it is important to take the time to evaluate all the organizations players or stakeholders, the specific problem to address, who is currently involved in the problem, and who could assist with resolving the problem. It is important to look at the social dynamics of the organization and which groups within the organization that could have influence. When determining who should be included in a critical mass analysis, the action researcher needs to look at many factors: 1) the stakeholders experience in particular division, in this case who has worked at the agency in the patrol division; and has knowledge of the problem, 2) who is willing to participate in the research to assist with finding resolutions, and 3) who has meaningful contributions to assist with finding a satisfactory resolution. It's important that a action research facilitator also determine the level of involvement that they are to have in the process as well as the other stakeholders. When conducting a critical mass analysis the facilitator may play several roles - interviewer, collaborator, coordinator, and negotiator to assist with generating data and reaching an effective resolution. Stringer (2007) states planning action research is critical to generating a successful analysis through "establishing a positive climate that engages the energy and enthusiasm of all stakeholders" (p.39). Facilitators who fail to encourage and build enthusiasm in the stakeholders to assist with overcoming a specific organizational problem can lose the ability to build open communication and achieve an effective resolution. The participants in this critical mass analysis will include members of the organization who have insider information, expertise, and knowledge that will assist with determining the reasons for the employee retention decrease problem and make decisions on how to assist the organization in creating an action plan to increase retention of employees. Patrol Lieutenant Kim Tomlin is the supervisor over the patrol division and has insider knowledge on the patrol division, the policies and procedures, the scheduling and pay scales, and general issues faced by the officers. Lt. Tomlin has the authority to make minor decisions on changes that influence her department. Services Lieutenant Jim Bush is the supervisor over the services division but was supervisor over the patrol division for several years. He has insider knowledge on the internal workings of the patrol division and how the services division interacts with it. He has expertise in scheduling, policy and procedures, Internal Affairs investigation, and employee related issues. Lt....