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week 11 (the doctoral practitionar ) for doctoral business adminstration

Assignment Requirements
This assignment is part of DBA program which is module 1
the assignment is considered week 11 which is the last week of module 1 (the doctoral practitioner) please see the syllabus.
please it is very important to see week6 and week 7 assgnment because it is accumulative to week11 .
i will upload all files for more informations
University of Liverpool
The Doctoral Practitioner
Example CAL Final Report
This handout provides an example of the final deliverable for the module, the CAL
Final Report. Review this example in preparation for Week 11, the week in which
your CAL Final Report will be due. You are not required to follow this exact format;
however, this example is provided to give you an idea of the kind of content that
should be addressed in the report. This is an example you can model and work
towards accomplishing throughout the doctoral program. Feel free to consult your
Doctoral Tutor on an alternative format.
CAL Final Report
The purpose of this document is to provide a narrative of the progress on the
problem I identified at the outset and on the process of engaging with the problem.
This includes issues encountered with the problem managing process, the steps
which were taken to address it, the ways in which the literature informed the process,
results and conclusions, and a plan for further action.
Problem overview
The problem I identified is one concerning what I perceived as a serious difficulty
with my line manager whose management style I find very difficult and complex. The
working relationship is fractured and has caused numerous difficulties with my own
team due to what I believe constitute his persistent undermining of my decisions and
actions. This case has repercussions for others than simply myself as I believe it is
de-stabilising the finance department in which I work, and possibly the wider
organisation. Pedler (1996) has argued that a good starting place for action and
learning is a sincere question which begins with “How can I…”(1996:44). As a
consequence I began the process by posing such a question for myself. My first
question therefore was: “How can I deal with what I see as my boss’s aggressive
management style?”
The action learning set
I first had the opportunity to present all the facets of my problem to an action learning
meeting scheduled for mid June. We had agreed as a set that it would be useful to
make use of Pedler’s (1996) problem brief in order to help us think through a suitable
problem for consideration by the set (1996:61).
The production of the rich picture, which initially some of us in the set were sceptical
about, allowed for what Monk and Howard (1998) saw as the identification of
“multiple viewpoints” in a work situation. Rich pictures are usually constructed by
interviewing people, and I drew up the picture by talking through scenarios and
reactions in the workplace to get a sense of “stakeholder” views and perceptions.
This provided a useful starting point for the process, and for the discussion of my The Doctoral Practitioner 2/6
Copyright – Laureate Online Education © All rights reserved, 2000 – 2010,
The module, in all its parts: syllabus, guidelines, lectures, discussion questions, technical notes, images and any
additional material is copyrighted by Laureate Online Education B.V.
Last update: September 10, 2010
problem. It also made me think about my line manager’s perspective on the situation
and that I needed to better understand the underlying issues and implications from a
range of perspectives other than my own.
The meeting in June was the first real opportunity I had ever had to explore and
examine the problem I faced in what I knew to be a confidential, supportive and
challenging environment. The meeting was not always comfortable. I had to consider
questions and perceptions from set colleagues which made me think about my own
role in the making the problem (“I am part of the problem, the problem is part of me’)
and I had also to consider the implications of this recognition for my own scholarly
research and practice.
I recorded in my research journal a memorable set discussion on the issue of
reflexivity and we discussed Perriton’s (2001) paper in particular. Reflexivity is one
way of problematising both what we know and how we have come to know it, as it
reveals something of the assumptions on which such knowledge is based, such as,
for example, the author’s particular background (Kelemen and Rumens, 2008:190). It
is a way of showing something of the impact of the researcher upon the research
(and vice versa), thus making the researcher a real presence in accounts of the
research. This avoids the passive voice Perriton (2001) warned of, which, as she
asserts “make it seem as if methodology drives the researcher not the other way
round and (we) write our research texts as if choices had not been made in the
construction of them” (Perriton, 2001:38).
But in exercising such reflexivity we should seek to give the researcher a voice
without silencing or lessening the voices of others in the research. This was an
important point in our discussions: my perception of the problem may well be very
different to others’ views. Some may view a manager’s actions as aggressive whilst
others will regard the individual as being merely forthright and direct: a strong willed
leader in a complex situation. The part that emotions play in the situation was also
discussed at length, drawing in particular upon Vince’s (2008) paper which sought to
advance the theory and practice of critical action learning by examining questions of
learning-in-action and learning inaction.
Literature Review
In order to begin the process of examining this issue I explored two streams of
relevant literature: one on bullying in the workplace and the other on critical action
learning which I see as one potential means of shedding light on the power relations
and inequalities in the workplace which may, at least in part, be said to account for
such problems.
Over the last 15 years, research into bullying in the workplace has emerged as a key
field of study in Europe and the USA, although the issue is not a new one. The
growing attention given to these matters may in part be explained by changing
economic and social conditions, and by relevant changes in employment law.
Rayner, Hoel and Cooper (2002) suggest there is no definitive list of bullying The Doctoral Practitioner 3/6
Copyright – Laureate Online Education © All rights reserved, 2000 – 2010,
The module, in all its parts: syllabus, guidelines, lectures, discussion questions, technical notes, images and any
additional material is copyrighted by Laureate Online Education B.V.
Last update: September 10, 2010
behaviours. A major assumption of much of the extant literature is that it is the
pattern of behaviours which is key to understanding what might be said to constitute
bullying behaviour (2002:9). Rayner et al (2002) assert that the notion of “inbalance
of power” (which is prevalent in much Scandinavian, but not British literature) is
gaining ready acceptance; “(I)f people have the same degree of power they will be in
an ordinary conflict – where two people work out disagreements” (2002:9). This
notion of “inbalance” also has resonance in the critical action learning literature,
much of which considers inequalities, power relations and emotions and politics in
the workplace (McLaughlin and Thorpe, 1993; Willmott, 1997; Reynolds and Vince,
2004; Rigg and Trehan, 2004).
There is a considerable amount of literature focused upon policy issues to do with
bullying in the workplace (Rayner, Hoel & Cooper, 2002; Richards & Daley, 2003;
Merchant & Hoel, 2003) with legal implications of bullying (Yamada, 2003) and to do
with the negative effects the experience has on victims (Hoel, Einarson and Cooper,
2003). My aim here is to link the problem of bullying in the workplace with critical
action learning in order to examine more closely the organisational effects of bullying
and the context in which such bullying occurs, as well as potential solutions for my
own specific problem. Hoel, Einarson and Cooper (2003) have made the point that
comparatively little attention has been paid in the literature to the possible
relationship between bullying and organisational outcomes (2003:145). Leyman
(1990) has argued that a single case of bullying may cost the organisation around
$30,000 to $100,000 each year (quoted by Hoel, Einarson and Cooper, 2003:145).
In questioning around the problem, my action learning set have encouraged me to
think about the wider organisational effects of bullying. Two questions posed by one
of my fellow set members gave me considerable cause to reflect. These questions
were as follows: What impact has this behaviour had on the wider organisation in
which it has occurred? What part might the practice of critical action learning have to
play in explaining the problem? This second question led me to look more closely at
the literature on critical action learning and its implications.
Critical Action Learning
Willmott (1997) observed that in engaging with the struggles of individual learners,
action learning has the capacity to open up to inspection the “darker” aspects of
organizational life (1997:170). For their part, McLaughlin and Thorpe had
recognised the (possibly untapped) capacity for managers engaged in action
learning to address:
…the primacy of politics, both macro and micro, and the influence of power on
decision making and non decision-making not to mention the “mobilization of bias”
Willmott (1997) distills from this a link to be made between the embodied insights
generated by action learning and the theoretical contributions of diverse traditions of
critical analysis (1997:170). But Willmott goes further still in his argument. It is not
enough simply to be able to identify power differences and to generate socio-political
insights, critical action learning should explore the real potential for changes which The Doctoral Practitioner 4/6
Copyright – Laureate Online Education © All rights reserved, 2000 – 2010,
The module, in all its parts: syllabus, guidelines, lectures, discussion questions, technical notes, images and any
additional material is copyrighted by Laureate Online Education B.V.
Last update: September 10, 2010
can “challenge practices and ideologies through which established exploitation
oppression and subjection become institutionalized” (1997:171).
Willmott (1997) set out an argument and a blueprint for critical action learning, but
was not, at the time of writing his now classic piece, able to point to examples of
critical action learning in practice. Reynolds and Vince (2004) and Rigg and Trehan
(2004) took the argument a stage further yet by giving examples of critical action
learning in practice. Reynolds and Vince (2004) give an example of developing
critical management learning and education as an outcome with the Centre for
Health Leadership and assert that:
The projects undertaken by individual managers within the particular action learning
set are not only seen as and understood as individual problems but as a reflection of
a very broad range of emotional and political issues within this organizational
context. Participants…are asked to identify power relations within and outside of the
action learning set and work with these inside and outside the set as these are seen
as forming the basis for the learning managers will take forward (2004: 452).
Examples of problems worked upon included how to work through the consequences
of a dysfunctional top team, how to be a good leader and still be liked and how to
improve the communication between senior managers and clinical directors.
Reynolds and Vince (2004) encourage the questioning and indeed transforming of
power relations as part of the critical action learning process. One might ask what
end is thought achievable through such questioning, especially as Reynolds and
Vince themselves point to the extent of wider socio-political difficulties making such
transformations unlikely at the time of writing (2004:454). This is an area upon which
further work could prove fruitful.
Reynolds and Vince (2004) conclude that there is much to be gained from advancing
action based approaches to learning which are social and situated in work and which
challenge existing power relations by subjecting current practice to critical
questioning. Rigg and Trehan (2004) argue that critical theory can be “mobilized and
applied in the process of understanding and changing interpersonal and institutional
practices” (2004: 149).They produce convincing illustrations of critical action learning
from their own practice which they use to show the outcomes such an approach can
produce for its participants. On example given is a powerful demonstration of how
indirect racism is tackled in a set meeting. Rigg and Trehan draw the conclusion that
critical action learning “has a performative benefit in that experiences of power,
politics and emotion offer potential for significant learning” (2004:162). Critical action
learning offers the potential to examine with deliberation tensions and conflicts in the
workplace, and to assist in understanding what Revans called the “micropolitics of
the organisation”. A potential problem with the approach comes with trying to go
beyond identifying power differences and generating socio-political insights;
participants might have cause to question how practices and ideologies are to be
challenged without risking potentially career-limiting consequences for the
Steps taken to address the problem and outcomesThe Doctoral Practitioner 5/6
Copyright – Laureate Online Education © All rights reserved, 2000 – 2010,
The module, in all its parts: syllabus, guidelines, lectures, discussion questions, technical notes, images and any
additional material is copyrighted by Laureate Online Education B.V.
Last update: September 10, 2010
Following discussions with the set, some of whom had considerable HR knowledge
which I found to be valuable contributors to my understanding, and thinking about
the problem and its implications from different perspectives I decided to tackle the
issue from both an organizational and individual perspective. I felt it was important
not to undermine the line manager but to ensure I got support and that the wider
departmental team also got support in the process.
From an organizational perspective, I decided to look into the prospects for
introducing a dignity at work policy which did not exist in the company at the time. To
this end, I examined a range of literature, including Rayner, Hoel and Cooper’s
(2002) guide which described the kinds of tangible statements such policy
documents are most likely to contain. I approached the company HR officer and we
had a productive discussion about the need for such a policy and the way in which
such a policy could be introduced by the company. We also examined the informal
procedures which need to be in place to support the introduction of such a policy.
On an individual level, the issue made me think about my own values as a manager,
and what I could do to ensure my own behaviour and responses were appropriate in
the workplace. A chapter in Rayner et al (2002) helped me to consider what could be
done on an individual basis. I decided that I would investigate the use of coaching to
look at the impact of these behaviours, and to try and understand the underlying
issues by communicating more effectively with the line manager and the team. I
realized that my own values centred around trusting people themselves to do the
work and by respecting and valuing staff. Vince’s (2008) article has made me think
about failing to act or refraining from action (learning inaction) and the implications
of this in a highly charged working environment. A consideration of this helps us “to
identify some of the emotions and politics that underpin and constrain managers’
actions within roles” (2008: 95).
Concluding reflections
The problem I brought to the set has not been completely resolved, but I do not
regard this as a failure because of the learning that has come from my engagement
with it, and with the action learning set. Revans (1998) was clear that action learning
should not be concerned with dealing with puzzles, which usually have a
comparatively easy solution, but with “the menace of urgent problems” and to make
“useful progress upon the treatment of some problem or opportunity in the real
world” (1998:8-15). It was thus important for me to attempt to tackle what I regarded
as a messy and potentially intractable problem with no clear solution in easy sight. In
doing this, I have learned about myself and my own values as a manager, and what
matters to me, and this may mean that I have to make some different choices in the
future about the kind of organisation within which I wish to work. I regard this
Word count: 2646The Doctoral Practitioner 6/6
Copyright – Laureate Online Education © All rights reserved, 2000 – 2010,
The module, in all its parts: syllabus, guidelines, lectures, discussion questions, technical notes, images and any
additional material is copyrighted by Laureate Online Education B.V.
Last update: September 10, 2010
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. (2008) Management Research.
London: Sage Publications.
Einarson, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper (2003) Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the
Workplace: International perspectives in research and practice. London: Taylor &
Kelemen, M., & Rumens, N. (2008) An Introduction to Critical Management
Research. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Pedler, M. (1996) Action learning for Managers. London: Lemos & Crane.
Perriton, L. (2001) ‘Sleeping with the enemy? Exploiting the textual turn in
management research’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 4 (1),
pp. 35-50.
Rayner, Hoel, & Cooper (2002) Workplace Bullying: What we know, who is to blame,
and what can we do? London: Taylor & Francis.
Rigg, C., & Trehan, K. (2004) ‘Reflections on Working with Critical Action Learning’
Action Learning: Research & Practice, 1 (2), pp. 149–165.
Vince, R., & Martin, L. (1983) ‘Inside action learning: an exploration of the
psychology and politics of the action learning model’, Management Education and
Development , 24 (3), pp. 206-215.
Vince, R. (2004) ‘Action learning and organizational learning: power, politics and
emotion in organizations’, Action Learning: Research and Practice 1 (1), pp. 63-78.
Vince, R. (2008) ‘Learning-in-action and learning inaction: Advancing the theory and
practice of critical action learning’, Action Learning: Research & Practice, 5 (2), July,
pp. 93-104.
Willmott, H. (1997) ‘Critical Management Learning’, In: Burgoyne, J., & Reynolds,
M. (eds.). Management Learning: Integrating Perspectives in Theory & Practice.
London: Sage, pp 161-176.
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