Action Research: New Paradigm in Production/Operations Management Research

Westbrook, Roy (1995) Action Research: New Paradigm in Production/Operations Management Research. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 15 (12). pp. 6-20.


The continuing debate on production and operations management (POM) research has led to a new emphasis on empirical methods. Claims that, while surveys and case research are increasingly recommended to POM researchers, action research has been relatively neglected. The distinct characteristic of action research is the intervention by the researcher in the situation under study. The nature of the intervention, and of action research outputs, differs however from consulting or from the applications reported by APICS. Explains these differences and offers a simple model of action research. Action research is particularly valuable for theory building, as has been seen in the fields of organization behaviour (OB) and management information systems (MIS), where qualitative methods have often been employed rather than traditional scientific methods. POM researchers can learn from the experience of other disciplines and use action research to create new theory. Since many POM researchers will be unfamiliar with action research, explores some practical aspects of conducting such investigations with illustrations from the author's own research experience. Concludes by showing that a properly conducted action research project can be as rigorous as other methods.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: action research, models, operations management, production, operations management
Subject(s): Operations management
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2012 21:24
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 10:32
Funders: N/A

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