Engagement enacted: Essentials of initiating an action research project
AbstractEngagement is seen as an important characteristic of action research. The term is often used to refer to the participation and involvement of the research participants. Within this article we take another angle and explore the concept of engagement in relation to the main action researcher. Using an auto-ethnographic approach, we illustrate that the involvement and ‘closeness’ of the researcher, although necessary within action research, can also have a darker side as people have the tendency to get trapped in their own beliefs and prejudices. If not mindful enough of their own involvement and way of being within the context, the researcher can lose him- or herself in the situation and no longer be able to encourage or facilitate the participation of others. We give suggestions for realizing productive engagement as a (participatory) researcher using concepts such as mindfulness and mindsight.