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Practical inquiry as action research and beyond
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, VITS - Development of Informations Systems and Work Context.
2008 (English)In: European Conference on Information Systems,2008, Galway: AIS , 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Action research is now a well established research approach within information systems. Action research is defined as having dual purposes; contributing to changes in a local practice and to the scientific body of knowledge. It is often seen as way to ensure practical relevance in the research. However, in the definitions of action research nothing is explicitly said about the need to develop general knowledge of practical relevance and usefulness. As an alternative and a complement to action research, another research approach is elaborated: practical inquiry. This approach relies on pragmatic philosophy. Practical inquiry shares many similarities with action research, but there are some important differences. The purpose of a practical inquiry is, through empirical study on practical matters in local practices, to contribute to general practical knowledge. This practical knowledge will be part of the scientific body of knowledge and it aims to be useful for practical affairs. In many situations, practical inquiry will also include intervention, of varying degrees, into the studied local practices. The general practical knowledge is often formulated as practical theories. Purposes and constituents of practical theories are described. An illustration of a combined practical inquiry and action research study is described in the paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Galway: AIS , 2008.
Keyword [en]
action research, information system
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-44169Local ID: 75962OAI: diva2:265030
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10

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Goldkuhl, Göran
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Faculty of Arts and SciencesVITS - Development of Informations Systems and Work Context
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