chapter  4
18 Pages


Building knowledge that can inform action differs from research that takes an external stance to observe organizational or individual behavior and predict outcomes. Argyris, Putnam, and Smith (1985) trace the roots of actionable approaches to research on practice to Kurt Lewin (1952), their point of departure for research on organizational change. In a more basic sense, a focus on inquiry in action, an alternative form of scientific reasoning that can be integrated into practice, originates with the works of John Dewey (1927 & 1988). These research traditions provide a base for building actionable knowledge in professional organizations. Support for professional development should be tightly linked to organizational change strategies. Both aspects of building actionable knowledge merit attention as foci of purposive action within professional organizations.