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The concept of action research

Herbert Altrichter (Herbert Altrichter is Professor and Head of Department of Education and Psychology at the University of Linz, Austria.)
Stephen Kemmis (Stephen Kemmis is Director of Stephen Kemmis Research and Consulting P/L and Professor Emeritus of the University of Ballarat, Australia.)
Robin McTaggart (Robin McTaggart is Professor and Pro‐Vice Chancellor, Staff Development and Student Affairs, at James Cook University, Townsville, Northern Queensland, Australia.)
Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt (Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt is Director of OZI (Ortrun Zuber International P/L), Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, and Professor of Professional and Organisational Development in the UK‐based International Management Centres Association (IMCA).)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 1 August 2002



Action research has been recognised for its breadth as a field of research practice and its depth as a discourse of theoretical insight. It does not have one neat, widely accepted definition. Points to some reasons for the difficulty of formulating a generally accepted definition of action research, and argues why action research should not be confined but should be both clarified for communication and open for development. The discussion stems from a working definition developed with participants in an international symposium that serves as a classic definition of action research. Presents several alternative approaches to resolution and argues for a judicious mix of pragmatism and flexibility in approaching the definition issue.



Altrichter, H., Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R. and Zuber‐Skerritt, O. (2002), "The concept of action research", The Learning Organization, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 125-131.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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