Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 97–104

Action Learning and Action Research (ALAR): A Methodological Integration in an Inter-Organizational Setting


    • School of BusinessTrinity College
  • Paul Coughlan
    • School of BusinessTrinity College
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11213-007-9086-0

Cite this article as:
Coghlan, D. & Coughlan, P. Syst Pract Act Res (2008) 21: 97. doi:10.1007/s11213-007-9086-0


The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how action learning and action research were used concurrently as a single ALAR methodology in one research project which focused on collaborative improvement in the supply chain. The research in which the ALAR methodology was used was a European Union funded research project called CO-IMPROVE which sought to develop a business model, supported by a web-based software system, and action learning-based implementation guidelines to support the design, implementation and ongoing development of collaborative improvement between partners in Extended Manufacturing Enterprises (EMEs). The article describes how the participating managers worked in an action learning to achieve their commercial objectives and how action research was used by academic researchers to consolidate the action learning processes and to generate actionable knowledge.


Action learningAction researchALARExtended manufacturing enterpriseInter-organizational dynamicsCO-IMPROVE

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007