Category Archives: Field/Action Research Spec Mod

The Stereotype of the Businessman

The Field/Action Research session I attended was about the value of big data and how to ask the right questions in order to obtain data that is valuable, however during the session the way the one of the professors described and referred to the “businessman” particularly attracted my attention, so I wanted to write about that.

He mentioned that he was a part of the Board of Directors in PAF (Parker Autism Foundation) and as he was describing the structure of the Board of Directors he made sure to make a clear difference between two different groups. One group consisted of the moms,dads and teachers and the other group consisted of “businessman”. He elaborated on the term “businessman” by saying that they came into the Board of Directors meeting that was at 7:30 am, and pulled out all different financial statements in order to find a better way to evaluate what programs work to help the kids. He basically simplified a body of people that probably consisted of diverse people with diverse backgrounds into one greedy businessman.

This reminded me of Stout’s description of the stereotypical shareholder in everyone’s heads, who cares about nothing other than maximizing his/her financial benefits. She explains how shareholders are human too, they have jobs, they have families and they do the same thing as everyone else. So doesn’t this description of the businessman simply create more negative opinions towards the world of business? Isn’t it a way of enabling more stereotypes to enter in our lives? What do we have to do, in order to disable the proliferation of such opinions and to stay away from the idea that businessman are greedy pigs who care about nothing other than money?

The many aspects of research

Two themes that seemed to continue to show up in the Field/Action Research were the importance of secondary research and ethics. The talk mostly explored instances of primary research where students were interacting with subjects to gather information. However, all the Professors emphasized the importance of doing secondary research as well if not before primary research. I know Professor Searles spoke in detail about the importance of ethics. Ethics is the basis of every research project. There has to be a certain level of trust between a subject being interviewed and the people interviewing. If this ethical code is not formulated, there is no real basis for a relationship. This especially rang true for the adult entertainment shop project that Professor Searles spoke about.

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Contrasting deliverables

Earlier this semester I attended the last Field Research series, which had to do with deliverables.Two professionals from very different fields gave their perspective on the deliverable that their line of work require.

Deliverables (definition) : A project management term for the quantifiable goods or services that will be provided upon the completion of a project. Deliverables can be tangible or intangible parts of the development process, and are often specified functions or characteristics of the project.

One of the panelists was a consultant and an expert in health. He has been working with Geisinger to improve their operations. The other panelist was a visual artist. Deliverables for these panelists varied greatly and it was interesting to see how these professionals approached the deliverable, or final product, of their work. I will point out some of the differences that i found to be most important and interesting.

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Establishing Meaningful Client Relationships

The last Action Research panel focused on client relationships in the business and art world. Professor Matt Bailey presented a perspective on clients from a career in information systems and Professor Tulu Bayar presented a perspective on clients from a career as an artist. These two panelists provided very different viewpoints to business relationships than I had previously thought about, as I am not pursuing a career in either area; however, a combination of their perspectives provided an interesting comparison.

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Can Art and Business Mix?

Can art and business mix? According to artist Tulu Bayar who focuses on conceptual art, artist sometimes need to think of art as a final product. The “Action Research Series on Deliverables” focused on outcomes and the approach one can take with clients or firms. Professor Matt Baliey and Tulu Bayar were the two panelists and offered very different approaches. Being an artist myself, I choose to focus on Bayar’s approach. Continue reading Can Art and Business Mix?

I Just Want to Fit In: Establishing Points of Entry in Ethnographic Research

I attended the Action Research panel about entering into different groups and communities for research. The speakers included Professor Kim of the Engineering Department, Professor Searles of the Sociology and Anthropology Departments, and Professor Orsborn from the MIDE program in the School of Management.

It was interesting to hear how ethnographic research can be so fundamental to the success of projects across so many varying fields.   It was interesting to hear how noting that a Guatemalan put their new glasses directly in the pocket and continued driving heavy machinery was the observation that made the necessity of fashion apparent. Although I had had the opportunity to see how clients don’t always say what they mean in some of Professor Orsborn’s classes, Professor Searles’s example of the students observing a contradiction to a porn shop manager’s impression that most of her customers are women was still surprising and emphasized the necessity of such investigations.

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Tales from the Field

I didn’t know what to expect going into the hour-long session on Action Research. The talk featured a panel of three professors from each of the three colleges/schools at Bucknell. Professor of Engineering Kim discussed his work as a trip leader with the Bucknell Brigade and BAP. Professor of Sociology Searles discussed his work leading a class on how to conduct good sociological research. And Professor Orsborn talked about his work with SUNCOM, a non-profit agency that helps people with disabilities.  Continue reading Tales from the Field