Action Research

Community & Social Systems
Amridge University
Eric Dishongh, PhD

Mendenhall, T.J., & Doherty, W.J. (2005). Action research methods in family therapy. In D.H. Sprenkle & F.P. Piercy (Eds.), Research methods in family therapy (pp. 100-118). New York, NY: Guilford.

Democratic Partnership
Deep Investment in Change
Problem Solving in Context
A Cyclical Process of Action and Evaluation
Humility and High Adaptability to Change
A Slow and Messy Process

Philosophical Assumptions

Research Questions
Sampling and Selection Procedures
Data Collection and Analysis Procedures
Reporting of Processes and Findings

Immediate Relevancy to Context
Use of Existing Resources
Empowering Communities in Processes of Change
Self-Reflection and High Adaptability of Change
Forward-Facing Vision and “Thinking Outside the Box”


Incompatibility with Conventional Means of Professional Recognition
The Slow and Messy Process
Conventional Regulatory Bodies’ Unfamiliarity with Action Research


Insider vs. Outsider Positions of Researchers
Primary Source Data
Use of Multiple Methods
Issues of Reliability and Validity

Charismatic, and Then Collaborative, Leadership
Group Facilitation Skills
Patience, Flexibility, and a High Tolerance for Ambiguity
Skills for Investigators

Increased Multidisciplinary Collaboration
Increased Visibility in Graduate Education
Increased Visibility in Professional Arenas
Future Directions



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