Quality & Quantity

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 37–54 | Cite as

Action Research is Similar to Design Science



In management information systems (MIS) action research is long considered as promising but low-level research approach. It has an utmost relevance because action researchers are working with practitioners to solve the important practical problem. Design science outlined some years ago is just winning a wider audience. Action research was traditionally classified into qualitative research methods. But it seems to be the “wrong” home of action research. We shall show that after comparison of the seven aspects: concrete results of the study, knowledge produced, activities, the intent and the nature of a study, the division of labor in a study and generation, use and test of knowledge, the concordance between the characteristics of action research on the one hand and of design science on the other hand is very good. Hence, action research and design science should next be considered as similar research approaches, and this is a turning point in the history of both action research and design science.


action research design science research method qualitative method 


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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencesUniversity of TampereFinland

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