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Research Methods and Design

A guide on common research methods.


Action research

A type of applied research designed to find the most effective way to bring about a desired social change or to solve a practical problem, usually in collaboration with those being researched.

Methods map—Sage research methods. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2021, from

SAGE Research Methods Videos

How do you define action research?

Professor David Coghlan explains action research as an approach that crosses many academic disciplines yet has a shared focus on taking action to address a problem. He describes the difference between this approach and empirical scientific approaches, particularly highlighting the challenge of getting action research to be taken seriously by academic journals

Coghlan Ph.D., D. (Academic). (2017). David Coghlan discusses action research [Video]. SAGE Research Methods Video

Dr. Nataliya Ivankova defines action research as using systematic research principles to address an issue in everyday life. She delineates the six steps of action research, and illustrates the concept using an anti-diabetes project in an urban area.

Ivankova Ph.D., N. (Academic). (2017). Nataliya Ivankova defines action research [Video]. SAGE Research Methods Video

This is just one segment in a whole series about action research. You can find the rest of the series in our SAGE database, Research Methods:

Further Reading