Frame the issue or problem

As you seek to define your problem, pay attention to Stringer's comments on page 99, which emphasize that defining a problem or an issue is often not as simple as it seems. Many organizational problems are known to stakeholders but because they are known, they are not critically examined—in other words, assumptions are not identified, knowledge gaps not formally acknowledged, systems archetypes are not considered, and key questions about the issue remain unasked.

In the Stringer and Aragon Action Research text, read the following:

  • Chapter 3, "Setting the Stage: Initiating an Action Research Process," pages 86–119.
  • Chapter 4, "Look: Generating and Gathering Data," pages 121–156.

For this question post, think about an organization in which you have had some important role or function. Perhaps the organization was a job, or maybe even a church or school. It could be any organization at all! (long as it make sense)

Now, with this organization in mind, respond to the following:

  • Describe your experiences with identifying a significant issue or problem in an organization. How did you know issue existed? Were you the first one to see the issue? How did you get others to also see the issue from your perspective?
  • Have you worked for an organization where issues or problems were not identified, even though people knew the issue or problem existed? What were the consequences of this failure? What could have been done to help increase awareness of the issue?
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