Action Research in Business Management



Action Research, Mixed Method Research


Action research is a wide and diverse solutions process, and different persons have different perspectives about what action research is, what it is for, who can do it and how. Action research is a practical form of inquiry that enables anyone in every job and walk of life to investigate and evaluate their work. The inquiry includes, what improvement do we need to do in order to streamline the work process? And how improvement can be carried out? And how do we prove that the work process has improved? From this account, action research has become an important tool in providing solutions be it personal or professional. It has also become popular as a form of professional learning across the professions and disciplines, including leadership studies (Branson et al, 2016) and management and business studies applications (Coghlan & Shani, 2016).

Action research is viable because it is easily applied by every practitioner and/or researcher, be it the professional or the student. Action research can be a powerful form of liberating professional inquiry about a problem as such the practitioner and/or researcher could themselves investigate their practices and find solutions for the problem's approach. As such, action research is a methodology that combines ‘action’ and ‘research’ together. During a study, the practitioner and/ or researcher performed the current work practice and reflected on what has happened and used this information to plan their intervention. The idea is to provide the solution based on the research methodology and data analysis with validation through a mixed-method approach of qualitative and quantitative analysis. Through this, the intervention or solution is formulated and implemented as required for the next course of action. The process of action research has a refining effect on action and the practitioner and/or researcher will gain an understanding of the work process performed. Through the reflection cycle, the practitioner and/or researcher will then provide the required justification, that the intervention did enhance the work process and provide the improvements as required.

As compared to applied research, action research allows the researcher to implement their solutions as an intervention to the work process. And using empirical evidence utilizing the mixed-mode approach of data analysis, researchers and/or practitioners are able to carry out the reflections on their intervening solutions to ensure that the solutions are effective in solving the current problems at hand. Action research has been proven to be both effective and efficient as a research process in order to find practical working solutions with the right combination of research tools.



Branson, C., Franken, M., & Penney, D. (2016). Reconceptualising middle leadership in higher education: a transrelational approach. In J. McNiff (Ed.), Values and Virtues in Higher Education Research: Critical Perspectives (1st ed., 149-162). Taylor & Francis.

Coghlan, D., & Shani, A.B. (Rami) (Eds.) (2016). Action research in business and management, (4 volumes). London, UK: Sage.

Plano Clark, V. L. & Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V.L. (2015). Understanding action research: A consumer guide (2nd ed.). Lincoln, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

White, G. W., Suchowierska, M., & Campbell, M. (2004). Developing and systematically implementing participatory action research. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85(2), 3-12


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November 13, 2021