Action Research as a Meta-Methodology in the Management Field
Action research
Qualitative research
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Alfaro-Tanco, J.A. (José Antonio); Erro-Garcés, A. (Amaya). "Action Research as a Meta-Methodology in the Management Field". International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 19, 2020, 1 - 11
Although it was first developed in the field of psychology, action research is a methodology of growing importance in business and management contexts. In this research article, we focus on a significant aspect of action research: the variety of methodologies that can be used jointly in an action research study and its relationships. More specifically, the aim of this study is to underscore the definition of action research as a meta-methodology that encompasses different ways of carrying out empirical research. To this end, we perform a meta-analysis of articles discussing empirical research that used an action research methodology. The meta-analysis is based on a systematic review of articles published between 2000 and 2018. The main findings suggest that action research may be regarded as a multidisciplinary method and that it can be implemented jointly with other methodologies; not just qualitative methods but also quantitative research. Consequently, action research may now be defined as a meta-methodology or an umbrella process. In this way, action research is a tool whose implementation ought to be promoted in the business/management field as a way of enhancing relevant, rigorous empirical studies and serving as a framework reference in projects based on research and practice contribution as well as active collaboration between researchers and practitioners.

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