AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Developing the Australian lamb industry using action research

by Elwin Donald Turnbull

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Year: 1993
Keywords: Master of Science (Hons); action research; Australian lamb industry; lamb marketing; lamb production
Record ID: 1050442
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/84


This document reports on the rationale for and results of using action research in order to facilitate development of the Australian lamb industry. The contexts of this research were: a lamb industry that had declining consumption; producers were slow to change to the production of new style of lamb which more closely aligned with consumer trends towards lower fat and convenience foods; and major changes in research funding criteria, towards projects with measurable impacts upon industries. The perspective taken in this research was that the production and marketing of lamb is essentially a human activity. Action research was effective in providing a methodology for working with extension and research officers using focus group meetings with lamb producers in South Eastern Australia. The key activity was the creation of an environment for a rich social discourse between industry people, focussing on establishing suitable processes and relationships within the industry. Valuable resources consisting of current industry skills, knowledge and institutions were utilised through this project for the benefit of the industry. This project illustrated a role for action research as an effective way of facilitating learning and communication in the lamb industry. The impact of the project was limited because the activities were confined to the production end of the marketing channel. The research helped the author to develop a deeper understanding of participatory action research and the close linkage between learning and self image. The experience of conducting the research validated the importance of the group dynamic in action research and the difficulty that individuals and groups have in matching actions with espoused theory