Getting Your Hands Dirty: Critical Research in a State Agency

Monder Ram, Paul Edwards, Trevor Jones, A Kiselinchev, L Muchenje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How can critical social scientists pursue critically engaged research? This question is addressed by examining how an action research intervention, informed by critical realism, was used to assist a business support agency (SUPPAG) to provide support to new migrant business owners. The article responds to calls for more engaged approaches to research, and more engagement with new migrants in different forms of employment. Key critical realist ideas (layered ontology, mechanisms, morphogenetic loops) shaped: the theoretical perspective; the approach to action research; the findings; and practice at SUPPAG. A key conclusion is that ‘engaged’ research is possible without compromising a commitment to critical scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-478
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Getting Your Hands Dirty: Critical Research in a State Agency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this