Can action research be made more rigorous in a positivist sense? The contribution of an iterative approach

Publication year: 
1997

How can action research be made more rigorous? This paper discusses action research, positivism and some major criticisms of action research by positivists. It then examines issues relating the conduct of IS research in organisations through multiple iterations in the action research cycle proposed by Susman and Evered. It is argued that the progress through iterations allows the researcher to gradually broaden the research scope and in consequence add generality to the research findings. A brief illustrative case is provided with a study on groupware introduction in a large civil engineering company. In the light of this illustrative case it is contended that effective application of the iterative approach to action research has the potential to bring research rigour up closer to standards acceptable by positivists and yet preserve the elements that characterise action research as such.

Source publication information
Journal Title: 
Journal of Systems and Information Technology
Volume: 
Vol 1. no. 1
Pages: 
Jan-24
Publisher
MCB UP Ltd
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK
Bingley, UK
Publisher reference: 
MCB UP Ltd