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An Assessment of the Scientific Merits of Action Research

Gerald I. Susman and Roger D. Evered
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 23, No. 4 (Dec., 1978), pp. 582-603
DOI: 10.2307/2392581
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392581
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Assessment of the Scientific Merits of Action Research
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Abstract

This article describes the deficiencies of positivist science for generating knowledge for use in solving problems that members of organizations face. Action research is introduced as a method for correcting these deficiencies. When action research is tested against the criteria of positivist science, action research is found not to meet its critical tests. The appropriateness of positivist science is questioned as a basis for judging the scientific merits of action research. Action research can base its legitimacy as science in philosophical traditions that are different from those which legitimate positivist science. Criteria and methods of science appropriate to action research are offered.

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