The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief)

Action Research

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98390-5_180-1
  • 29 Downloads

Abstract

Action research is an approach to research which aims at both taking action and creating knowledge or theory about that action as the action unfolds. It starts with everyday experience and is concerned with the development of living knowledge. Its characteristics are that it generates practical knowledge in the pursuit of worthwhile purposes; it is participative and democratic as its participants work together in the present tense in defining the questions they wish to explore, the methodology for that exploration, and its application through cycles of action and reflection. In this vein they are agents of change and coresearchers in knowledge generation and not merely passive subjects as in traditional research. In this vein, action research can be understood as a social science of the possible as the collective action is focused on creating a desired future in whatever context the action research is located.

Keywords

Action research Change Development Emancipatory research Participatory research 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Banks, S., & Brydon-Miller, M. (2018). Ethics in participatory research for health and social well-being. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bradbury, H. (2015). The Sage handbook of action research (3rd ed.). Sage: London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradbury, H., Mirvis, P., Neilsen, E., & Pasmore, W. (2008). Action research at work: Creating the future following the path from Lewin. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.), The Sage handbook of action research (2nd ed., pp. 77–92). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradbury, H., Roth, J., & Gearty, M. (2015). The practice of learning history: Local and open approaches. In H. Bradbury (Ed.), The Sage handbook of action research (3rd ed., pp. 17–30). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brydon-Miller, M., Greenwood, D., & Maguire, P. (2003). Why action research? Action Research, 1(1), 9–28.034201[1476–7503(200307)1:1].CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chevalier, J. M., & Buckles, D. J. (2019). Participatory action research. Theory and methods for engaged inquiry (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coghlan, D. (2010). Seeking common ground in the diversity and diffusion of action research and collaborative management research action modalities: Toward a general empirical method. In W.A. Pasmore, A.B.. (Rami) Shani and R.W. Woodman (Eds.), Research in organizational change and development (vol 18, pp. 149–181). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  8. Coghlan, D. (2016). Retrieving the philosophy of practical knowing for action research. International Journal of Action Research, 12, 84–107.  https://doi.org/10.1688/IJAR-2016-01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coghlan, D. (2019). Doing action research in your own organization (5th ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Coghlan, D., & Brydon-Miller, M. (2014). The Sage encyclopedia of action research. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Coghlan, D., & Shani, A.B.. (Rami). (2017). Inquiring in the present tense: The dynamic mechanism of action research. Journal of Change Management, 17, 121–137.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14697017.2017.1301045.
  12. Coghlan, D., Shani, A.B.. (Rami), & Hay, G.W. (2019). Toward a social science philosophy of organization development and change. In D.A. Noumair & A.B.. (Rami) Shani (eds.). Research in organizational change and development (Vol. 27, pp. 1–29). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  13. Gearty, M., & Coghlan, D. (2018). The first-, second- and third-person dynamics of learning history. Systemic Practice & Action Research., 31, 463–478.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11213-017-9436-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Greenwood, D., & Levin, M. (2007). Introduction to action research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heron, J., & Reason, P. (1997). A participatory inquiry paradigm. Qualitative Inquiry, 3, 274–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heron, J., & Reason, P. (2008). Extending epistemology within a cooperative inquiry. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.), The Sage handbook of action research (2nd ed., pp. 366–380). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huxham, C. (2003). Actionresearch as a methodology for theory development. Policy and Politics, 31(2), 239–248.  https://doi.org/10.1332/030557303765371726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Koshy, E., Koshy, V., & Waterman, H. (2011). Action research in healthcare. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lonergan, B. J. (2005). Dimensions of meaning. In B. J. Lonergan (Ed.), The collected work of Bernard Lonergan (Vol. 4, pp. 232–244). Toronto: Toronto University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Marshall, J. (2016). First person action research: Living life as inquiry. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Owen, R., Bessant, J., & Heintz, M. (2013). Responsible innovation: Managing the responsible emergence of science and innovation in society. London: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pasmore, W. A. (2001). Action research in the workplace: The socio-technical perspective. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.), The handbook of action research (pp. 38–47). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  23. Revans, R. W. (1971). Developing effective managers. London: Longmans.Google Scholar
  24. Revans, R. (1998). ABC of action learning. London: Lemos& Crane.Google Scholar
  25. Schein, E. H. (2013). Humble inquiry: The gentle art of asking instead of telling. Oakland: Berrett-Kohler.Google Scholar
  26. Shani, A.B.. (Rami), & Coghlan, D. (2019). Action research in business and management: A reflective review. Action Research.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1476750319852147.
  27. Susman, G. I., & Evered, R. D. (1978). An assessment of the scientific merits of action research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23, 582–601.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2392581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Torbert, W. R., & Associates. (2004). Action inquiry. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  29. Whitney, D., & Trosten-Bloom, A. (2010). The power of appreciative inquiry: A practical guide to positive change. Oakland: Berrett-Kohler.Google Scholar
  30. Williamson, G., & Bellman, L. (2012). Action research in nursing and healthcare. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity Business SchoolUniversity of Dublin Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Richard Randell
    • 1
  1. 1.Webster University GenevaGenevaSwitzerland