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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Chad Perry and Evert Gummesson

Develops a definition of action research that is particularly suitable for marketing and based on the articles in this issue of European Journal of Marketing, emphasising…

Abstract

Develops a definition of action research that is particularly suitable for marketing and based on the articles in this issue of European Journal of Marketing, emphasising the breadth of action research in marketing and its distinctive interest in analytic generalisation, that is, in building a theory that extends beyond the particular situation that is being action researched to other situations.. The three sections of this commentary include: definition of traditional action research, action learning and case research. Second, drawing of four implications from the articles within this special issue about how action research can be done in marketing. Finally, presents a broad definition of action research in marketing.

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European Journal of Marketing, vol. 38 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2003

Jennifer Rowley

This article seeks to draw out some of the principles and concepts of action research in order to better inform student work based learning. After an introduction that…

Abstract

This article seeks to draw out some of the principles and concepts of action research in order to better inform student work based learning. After an introduction that explains the application of action research to work based learning, the article explores the essence of action research. The action research cycle and the notion of meta learning are introduced. A section on taking action research forward addresses pragmatic issues such as: journal keeping, managing role duality, and managing politics and ethics. Finally suggestions are offered for writing an action research dissertation or work based project report.

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Education + Training, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Herbert Altrichter, Stephen Kemmis, Robin McTaggart and Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt

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…

Abstract

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.

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The Learning Organization, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt and Chad Perry

This paper argues that action research is more appropriate than traditional research for improving practice, and professional and organisational learning. Our particular…

Abstract

This paper argues that action research is more appropriate than traditional research for improving practice, and professional and organisational learning. Our particular aim is to help postgraduates in the social and human sciences to understand and clarify the difference between core action research and thesis action research; that is, between collaborative, participatory action research in the field (aimed at practical improvement in a learning organisation) and independent action research in preparing the thesis (aimed at making an original contribution to knowledge). We present a model to illustrate the distinction and relationship between thesis research, core research and thesis writing.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Michael W. Stebbins, Judy L. Valenzuela and Jean-Francois Coget

Since 1973, the pharmacy operations division of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (KPMCP) has used long-term action research programs as the principal method for…

Abstract

Since 1973, the pharmacy operations division of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (KPMCP) has used long-term action research programs as the principal method for orchestrating change. This chapter covers the evolution of action research theory within large, complex organizations, with particular attention to health care organizations. Four case examples from KPMCP are discussed in depth and mapped to the recently advanced Roth model of insider action research. This model considers external and internal business context, the perceived need to create new organizational capabilities, as well as insider action research theory and learning mechanisms used in change programs. Issues posed by the Roth model are explored, and new theory is advanced regarding the need for a long-term perspective, the advantages and difficulties posed when managers act as insider action researchers, and the quality of data gathering that takes place during insider action research change programs.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-547-1

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Book part
Publication date: 29 January 2013

Karen Lucas

Purpose — This paper explores the potential of ‘action research’ as transport survey method, with particular emphasis on critically assessing its utility in the resolution…

Abstract

Purpose — This paper explores the potential of ‘action research’ as transport survey method, with particular emphasis on critically assessing its utility in the resolution of major transport policy challenges, such as the mitigation of climate change and environmental impacts, transport-related social exclusion and intergenerational equity issues. Although not particularly novel within the social sciences, it is an approach that has been largely overlooked within the field of transport studies to date.

Methodology/approach — The paper presents practical examples of where action research has been used to elicit information about people's travel experiences and behaviours and discusses how it achieves different outcomes from other qualitative transport survey methods. It identifies appropriate contexts for action research and explores the skills and techniques to overcome some of the main criticisms of the method. It then evaluates some of the critical challenges of applying an action research approach and identifies potential ways for overcoming these. Finally, it discusses the key challenges for analysis, presentation and dissemination of their action research ‘data’ and potential ways of overcoming these.

FindingsAction research has a long history within the social sciences, dating back to practical problems in wartime situations in Europe and the United States. It can be applied at either the level of individuals, small groups and/or ‘communities’ and organisations, with the expressed aim of bringing together research enquiry and future policy or planned actions (ibid). It provides a useful additional survey technique for policy-makers wishing to understand the detailed process of travel behaviours and barrier to travel at the individual level.

Originality/value of the paper — The action research method is specifically useful for supporting and actively encouraging behaviour change as an integral part of the research process. It has only recently emerged within the literature as a transport survey method. It can be a particularly useful method for developing more collaborative data collection methods research participants enquires and thus enable us to identify their underlying motivations, intentions, perceptions and negotiations, as well as the micro-level impacts of smaller scale transport initiatives.

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Transport Survey Methods
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78-190288-2

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Book part
Publication date: 23 July 2014

Gertjan Schuiling

This chapter describes the change efforts and action research projects at a Dutch multinational which, over a period of 25 years, produced in one of its businesses a…

Abstract

This chapter describes the change efforts and action research projects at a Dutch multinational which, over a period of 25 years, produced in one of its businesses a zigzag path toward collaborative leadership dynamics at the horizontal and vertical interfaces. The chapter also identifies the learning mechanisms that helped achieve this transformation. Changing the patterns at the vertical interfaces proved to be a most tricky, complex, and confusing operation. The data show that organizations need hierarchical interfaces between levels, but are hindered by the hierarchical leadership dynamics at these interfaces. The data furthermore show that competitive performance requires more than redesigning horizontal interfaces. A business can only respond with speed and flexibility to threats and opportunities in the external environment when the leadership dynamics at agility-critical vertical interfaces are also changed.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-312-4

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Abstract

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Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

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Book part
Publication date: 11 March 2019

David Coghlan

Abstract

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Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2020

Natalie Smith

The pressure on the academic community to demonstrate impact, bridge theory to practice and solve practical problems is persistent. Action research has the potential for…

Abstract

Purpose

The pressure on the academic community to demonstrate impact, bridge theory to practice and solve practical problems is persistent. Action research has the potential for bridging the rigour–relevance gap, but has struggled for legitimacy. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the impediments to action research legitimacy.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytic autoethnography of a PhD candidature, utilising legitimacy theory.

Findings

The study finds that a self-perpetuating cycle is hampering the quality of action research and provides a comprehensive list of impediments to action research legitimacy. It predicts that legitimacy can be improved through differentiating and improving guidance to theoretical contribution and considering a broader range of stakeholders for research funding and execution.

Research limitations/implications

Provides a more comprehensive understanding of the type and form of legitimacy issues for action research, which informs the actions likely to improve legitimacy. Provides clarity into limitations and variants in legitimacy theory. As the perspective of one PhD candidate, the study has the potential for bias and limitations to generalisability.

Practical implications

Improving the legitimacy of action research helps practice-based disciplines. The findings assist practitioners contemplating an academic pursuit to solve intractable business problems.

Social implications

Research that is both rigorous and relevant contributes to one’s ability to solve complex societal problems. This study provides insights into how research rigour and relevance could be improved.

Originality/value

This research provides unique perspective and insight into the reasons action research continues to struggle for legitimacy

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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