Construction of Social Development Index as a Theoretical Research Practice in Action Research by Using Soft Systems Methodology

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Abstract

This paper provides an illustration of the application of Soft Systems Methodology to construct social development index, based on a sociological concept of development proposed by Wirutomo et al. (Pengembangan Indeks Pembangunan Sosial (IPS) Bagi Sektor Informal di Perkotaan: Menuju Kebijakan Inklusif bagi Usaha Kecil, 2011). An action research (AR) is conducted in the field of street vendor promotion program perceived to be representing the social development practice. While the improvement of fundamental elements of societal life, i. e., social structure, culture, and social process can be identified in the field of street vendor promotion program, it is believed that the same development aspects can be explored at many other development sectors. A preliminary social development index is conctructed by using a single sector development program. It is expected that through a further research agenda, a comprehensive social development profile equipped with its related index can be presented. The findings of this SSM-based AR can be considered "as primary 'thesis' derived from 'messes' or 'surprising facts' of a real world problematic situation" as described by Stephens et al. (Syst Pract Action Res 22:463-474, 2009). As an AR practice, this research is a research interest, instead of a problem solving interest in AR (McKay and Marshall, Inf Technol People 14:46-59, 2001); it is also a theoretical research practice, instead of a business change practice/empirical research practice and regular business practice (Cronholm and Goldkuhl, The 2nd European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management (ECRM 2003), 2003), and it is an interpretative actions and theory development actions as mentioned by Cronholm and Goldkuhl (The 2nd European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management (ECRM 2003), 2003). This paper also provides an illustration of a variant relationship between P and A as introduced by McKay and Marshall (Inf Technol People 14:46-59, 2001), which is "there are some elements of P that overlap with some elements of A".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-509
Number of pages17
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Action research
  • Culture
  • Social development
  • Social process
  • Social structure
  • Soft systems methodology
  • Theoretical research practice

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