Nursing Profession and Action Science

Afza.Malik GDA

Action Science and Nursing Profession

Nursing Profession and Action Science

Nursing Profession and Action Science ,Argyris and Schon (1974) theory and Argyris, Putnam theory, and Smith (1985) identified,Kim, 1994.

Whats is Action Science

    Action science is an approach to generating knowledge for practice by engaging practitioners in that process through reflection on their own behavioral worlds of practice (Argyris, Putnam, & Smith, 1985; Schön, 1983).Schon contrasts action science as advanced by these authors with the traditional, positivistic science, which he calls technical rationality. 

    Technical rationality for professional practice is concerned with "knowing that," whereas action science is oriented to "knowing how" in practice. Although knowing how in practice contributes to the creation of knowledge that is not available from traditional research, what practitioners actually design in their practice may be limiting, routinized, and self-sealing. 

    Hence, action science addresses generation of knowledge. through reflection that fulfills the functions of discovery and change. Action science is primarily oriented to studying individual practitioners in their practice and generation of knowledge from individuals' practice; however, it can be applied to organizational behaviors and organizational intervention.

Action Research int he view of  R. Putnam Theory

    R. Putnam (1992) suggests that action science is based on three philosophical premises: 

(a) Human practice involves meaning making, intentionality in action, and normativity from the perspective of human agency.

(b) Human practice goes on in an interdependent milieu of behavioral norms and institutional politics.

(c) The epistemology of practice calls for the engagement of practitioners in generating knowledge. Action science thus is a method and philosophy for improving practice and generating knowledge. 

Action Research int he view of  Argyris Theory  

    Argyris (1987) suggests further that action science is an interventionist approach in which three prerequisites must be established for the research to ensue: 

(a) A creation of normative models of rare universes that are free of defensive routines.

(b) A theory of intervention that can move practitioners and organizations from the present to a new desirable universe.

(c) A theory of instruction that can be used to teach new skills and create new culture.

In Conclusion 

    Action science holds that actions in professional practice are based on practitioners theories of action. Theories of action are learned and organized as repertoires of concepts, schemata, and propositions and are the basis on which practitioners behavioral worlds are created in specific situations of practice. 

    Argyris, Putnam, and Smith (1985) identified espoused theories and theories-in-use as two types of theories of action. Espoused theories of action are the rationale expressed by practitioners as guiding their actions in a situation of practice, whereas theories-in-use refers to theories that are actually used in practice. 

    Theories in use are only inferable from the actions themselves, and practitioners usually are not aware of or not able to articulate their theories in use except through careful reflection and self-dialogue.

Argyris and Schon (1974) and Argyris, Putnam, and Smith (1985) identified

    Model I theories-in-use as a type that seals practitioners from learning and produces routinization and ineffectiveness in practice. Model II theories-in-use are proposed within action science as an intervention for Model I theories-in-use.

    Model II theories-in-use concern pass principles of valid information, free and informed choice in action, and internal commitment. Reflection and learning are the two key processes necessary for the transformation from Model I theories-in-use to Model II theories-in-use

    Action science, then, aims to engage both practitioners and researchers in this process of transformation through the creation of a normative model of rare universe and application of theories of intervention and instruction.

    Knowledge of practitioners theories-in use and espoused theories provides a descriptive understanding about the patterns of inconsistencies between theories-in-use and espoused theories recalled in actual practice. 

    Through action science, practitioners engaged in Model II theories-in-use produce practice knowledge that informs their approach to practice without routinization or the self-sealing mode. In addition, action science generates knowledge regarding the process involved in self-awareness and the learning of new theories-in-use through reflective practice and practice design.

    Research process in action science calls for the cooperative participation of practitioners and researchers through the phases of description, discovery of theories-in-use, and intervention. Transcriptions of actual practice by the researcher or narratives of actual practice by the practitioner are analyzed together in order to describe and inform reflectively the nature of practice and theories-in-use. 

    R Purnam (1996) suggests the use of the ladder of inference as a tool to discover practitioners modes of thinking and action as revealed in transcripts or narratives. The research process is not oriented to the analysis of action transcripts or narratives by a researcher independent of the practitioner. 

    It involves a post-practice face-to-face discussion (interview) between the researcher and the practitioner. Such session, are used to get at the reconstructed reasoning of practitioners regarding critical moments of the practice and to provide opportunities for reflection on the thinking and doing that were involved in the practice. 

    Through such sessions, the researcher also acts as an interventionist by engaging the practitioner to move toward new learning.

Action Science and Nursing 

    Nursing practice is a human-to-human service that occurs in the context of health care. Nurses practice within on-line conditions that are complex not only with respect to clients' problems but also in terms of organizational elements of the health care environment. 

    Nursing practice is not based simply on linear translations of relevant theoretical knowledge that governs the situation of practice but has to be derived and designed from the nurse's knowledge of and responses to the competing and complex demands of the situation (Kim, 1994). 

    In addition, as the action scientists suggest, nursing practice in general, as well as particular nursing actions, may be entrenched with routinization or frozen within Model I theories-in-use.

    On the other hand, a great deal of nursing as practiced may be exemplary and creatively designed and enacted. The general aim of action science for nursing is then to improve nursing practice by freeing nurses from self-sealing practices and engaging them in the process of learning and participatory research.

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