Weaknesses of Action Research

Action Research
Knowledge Center


Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Weaknesses of Action Research

Despite the many advantages that Action Research (AR) might have, Brydon-Miller et al. (2003) mention that one of the weaknesses of Action Research is: its localism. AR often takes place on the local scale and it cannot be extended to a broader context.
Because AR is done on a “case-by-case” basis, action researches often have problems with intervening in large-scale social change attempts.
Problems as environmental degradation, political conflicts and increasing inequality are difficult to address in AR.
I wonder are there any additonal known weaknesses of AR?
Brydon-Miller, M., Greenwood, D. And P. Maguire (2003) “Why Action Research” Action Research Vol. 1 pp 9-28


Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Disadvantages of Action Research

Thanks for sharing this, indeed AR lends itself to smaller-scale issues, such as single case studies
or reflective studies.
Sometimes you also can see 2 other weaknesses of AR being mentioned: methodologically it might be difficult and it is said to be time-consuming.
Of course each method has its disadvantages or perhaps its better to speak of limitations.

Bob Dick
Consultant, Australia

Limitations of Action Research

I suspect such problems as "environmental degradation... and increasing inequality" are difficult to... Sign up

Marlis Krichewsky
HR Consultant, France

Large Scale Action Research

There are forms of AR that allow to address problems concerning thousands of actors giving all of th... Sign up

Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States

Action Research is Intentionally Localized - That's the Point

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Radha Raj

The Results of Action Research can be Published Globally

Sometimes, action research can yield observations and results that can have wide applications. For i... Sign up

Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States

All Action Planning is a Form of Action Research

@Radha Raj: My point remains that all action planning is a form of action research, whether it is pl... Sign up

Manager, Australia

Limited Use of Action Research in Business Research

@Tom Wilson: After using an applied AR research method at a corporate managerial level, based on Lew... Sign up

Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States

Action Research and Military Tactical Action Planning

@Clare: It is useful to remember that Lewin was a combat infantry soldier and the action research mo... Sign up

clare keogh
Student (MBA), Australia

Action Research Strengths and Weaknesses

Interesting you think of Lewin as a combat soldier. Yes he was in the German army for a short time a... Sign up


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