Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 383–396 | Cite as

Quality in Action Research: Reflections for Second-Order Inquiry

  • Joel MartíEmail author
  • Tomás R. Villasante
Original Paper


One of the current debates in action research concerns the quality of these practices. Up to now, many contributions have focused on defining specific criteria based on action research epistemology. This article sustains (1) that prior to dealing with these questions, it is necessary to define for what purpose and for whom we are making the evaluation; (2) that this leads us to make a distinction between different evaluation models; and (3) that the quality strategies and criteria will be different for each model. In particular, the article confronts an academic evaluation model as a form of external control over the quality of action research and an internal, participatory evaluation model as a quality strategy aimed at establishing feedback for the process. Final considerations are given about the implications of both models for academia.


Quality Validity Evaluation Second-order inquiry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Department of Sociology IIComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain

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