Exploring the relationship between case study and action research : case study research being organised on the Kaohsiung Harbour in Taiwan
This dissertation reports on a case study investigation of the organisational setting of the Kaohsiung Harbour Bureau (KHB) in Taiwan. It reports on my methodological contribution in doing my study in a particular way, namely, by making use of my position in the Harbour to help develop multi-views in relation to the future. I tried not to abuse my working position as a former manager of warehousing and my current position as a researcher to make definite recommendations for action~ but I wanted to create some options for thinking about future plans for privatisation of port activities through involving less power distance than is normally associated with planning in the Harbour. My study was not carried out by trying to operate in a neutral fashion. For instance, I clearly had an own involvement in raising questions in the interviews (individual and group) with participants and in the way I developed further questions during interviews and also carried information across interviews. I also tried to create some discussion on important issues that created high emotional responses for participants. I call my case study research, which was organised to be active in the hope to be of some benefit to participants, a special kind of case study. I reflect on the roles I played in the special case study in the dissertation. The dissertation also reports on the theoretical contribution that I think I have made in relation to some themes arising from the case study (cross-cultural learning, politics and development, and the relevance of systems thinking). It gives details on how these themes could be explored with reference to the case. I discuss the themes in relation to wider literature on the topics and I add my ideas.