Introduction to action research (2ed) / Greenwood & Levin (2007)

Citation - Greenwood, D. J., & Levin, M. (2007). Introduction to action research: Social research for social change (2 ed.). London: Sage Publications.

Keyword - action research



Action research is social research carried out by a team that encompasses a professional action researcher and the members of an organization, community, or network (“stakeholders”) who are seeking to improve the participants' situation. AR promotes broad participation in the research process and supports action leading to a more just, sustainable, or satisfying situation for the stakeholders. (p.1)


Together, the professional researcher and the stakeholders define the problems to be examined, co-generate relevant knowledge about them, learn and execute social research techniques, take actions, and interpret the results of actions based on what they have learned. AR rests on the belief and experience that all people – professional action researchers included – accumulate, organize, and use complex knowledge continuously in everyday life. This belief is visible in any AR project because the first step professional action researchers and members of a community, organization, or network take is to define a problem that they seek to resolve. They begin by pooling their knowledge. AR democratizes the relationship between the professional researcher and the local interested parties. (p.1-2)


Because it is a research practice with a social change agenda, AR involves a critique of conventional academic practices and organizations that assert either the necessity or desirability of studying social problems without trying to resolve them. Although AR views academic and professional knowledge systems that do not engage practice direction as wrongheaded, action researchers neither reject formal research methods nor ignore the epistemological issues that necessarily undergird the development of valid social knowledge. To the contrary, action researchers, precisely because the results will affect the lives of the stakeholders, have a profound interest in the validity of the generated knowledge. (p.4)


以往行動研究者很少認識彼此,研究者也沒有形成一個緊密的社群。一直到 Reason & Bradbury (2001) the Handbook of Action Research, 將各種不同觀點的行動研究匯集到一本書中,才對近來的發展形成更一致的觀點。(p.13)


  • 北方的產業民主研究(industrial democracy)
  • 南方的參與行動研究 (PAR, participatory action research)
  • 合作探究 human inquiry/collaborative inquiry

Epistemology, Scientific Knowledge

行動研究實務 Varieties of action research praxis

  • Pragmatic action research [實用行動研究]
  • Power & social reform: Southern PAR, Education, Feminism, AR [權力與社會改革:南方參與行動研究、教育、女性主義與行動研究]
  • Educational action research [針對教育的行動研究]
  • Participatory evaluation [參與式評估]
  • Participatory rural appraisal, Rapid rural appraisal, Participatory learning & analysis [參與式農村評估、急速農村評估、參與式學習與分析]
  • Varieties of human inquiry: Collaborative, Action, Self-reflective, & Cooperative. [各種人文學科探究:協作、行動、反思、合作]
  • Action science & Organizational learning [行動科學、組織學習]


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