Eight Criteria for Quality in Systemic Practitioner Research

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Gail Simon


This paper describes the rationale and context for eight key markers of quality in qualitative systemic practitioner research. The criteria are designed for systemic practitioner researchers who are researching from the position of practitioner-at-work. The criteria include Systemic Practice, Methodology, Situatedness, Relational Ethics, Relational Aesthetics, Reflexivity, Coherence, and Contributions. They build on existing criteria for quality developed within the fields of post-positivist qualitative research and professional practice research by embedding them in systemic practice theory, activity and values. Distinctions are made between practitioner research and research about practice, and between positivist and post-positivist research. This eight-point framework brings together existing systemic methods of inquiry which recognise the importance of understanding context, movement and relational know-how. The paper proposes that systemic or relationally reflexive practice is already a form of collaborative inquiry or action research in which any action, research included, inevitably contains intention and acts as an intervention. While working with people in small and immediate systems, systemic practitioner researchers are critically reflexive in understanding how local issues are connected to wider socio-political systems and discourses.

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Simon, G. (2018). Eight Criteria for Quality in Systemic Practitioner Research. Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice, 1(2), 40–62. https://doi.org/10.28963/1.2.5

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