Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 443–452 | Cite as

Triple Task Method: Systemic, Reflective Action Research

  • Simon BellEmail author
  • Stephen Morse
Original Paper


This brief article introduces a new methodology for systemic action research—Triple Task (TT)—and sets out its rationale and initial progress in becoming an embedded method for group working. Arising from the authors previous work with soft systems approaches, the Imagine method for sustainable development assessment and action research in a variety of global locations, TT provides a means for groups to engage together in purposive work and, at the same time, for facilitators to understand how the dynamic of the group influences the groups output. TT is based on an ambitious concept and at the time of writing the results of TT applied in the context of an EU Framework 7 funded project are in their early stages but importantly, significant insights are already arising including the answers to some puzzling questions:
  • Do purposeful groups always produce the most insightful outcomes?

  • Do conflictual groups produce incoherent results?

  • What makes a ‘good’ group?


Triple task method Participatory approaches Action research 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under the Grant Agreement No. 217207 (POINT Project,


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK
  2. 2.Bayswater Institute in LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Geography DepartmentUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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