Action Research 5: How to set up an Action Research Project

Action research projects can vary along many different dimensions, and the set up of such projects need to be carefully thought through. Here are some of the things I think about when setting up a new action research project.

  1. Be very explicit about what will be done by you, and what the difference is between an action researcher and a consultant. You can for example not be the project leader of their project, since that will not support them in their change.
  2. Make sure that the people you collaborate with understand what action research is, and have a discussion about what kind of knowledge will be gained through the collaboration.
  3. Be open about what publications you will write based on the work.
  4. Invite people in the organisation to write publications with you. Doing research with people is really worth the effort!
  5. Organisations and structures cannot be changed by you in person. The change process needs to be driven by people inside the organisation.
  6. Be willing to do things that are a part of the change process, and spend time on doing them well. But do not be the driver of change, and leave that role to the people in the organisation.

Good luck with your action research work 🙂