In Conducting Action Research, Coghlan and Shani explain how action research differs from more detached research methods and provides expert guidance on how to engage effectively with it, helping the reader to complete both a successful research project and produce findings that are useful in an organizational context. Ideal for Business and Management students reading for a Master’s degree, each book in the series may also serve as reference books for doctoral students and faculty members interested in the method. Part of SAGE’s Mastering Business Research Methods, conceived and edited by Bill Lee, Mark N. K. Saunders and Vadake K. Narayanan and designed to support researchers by providing in-depth and practical guidance on using a chosen method of data collection or analysis. Watch the editors introduce the Mastering Business Research Methods series

Understanding Action Research


In the previous chapter we introduced action research and tracked its roots in Aristotelian philosophy through Lewin’s social psychology and organization development. As we pointed out, addressing the tensions between basic knowledge production and action is not new. As we referenced in Chapter 1, Gibbons et al. (1994) and Nowotny et al. (2001) framed this tension in terms of Mode 1 and Mode 2 knowledge production, a distinction which MacLean et al. (2002) brought to the field of management and organization studies. This separation of knowledge and practice and of rigour and relevance, which emerged in academia during the first half of the twentieth century, divides management scholars and practitioners. More recently, some management scholars, such as Argyris et al. (1985), ...

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