Action Research is one of the most popular research strategies in nursing and healthcare. It is widely used by practitioners who want to better understand and undertake their work and students who need to do a research project for their course. AR is evidence-based and links directly to practice, making it the ideal method for a researcher in these fields.

This book introduces readers to Action Research by presenting its key concepts and backing them up with practical examples throughout, often drawn from the authors? own extensive experience. Topics include: Action research to advance patient care; Collaborative working; Ethics; Participatory Action Research; Writing up and disseminating projects

Williamson, Bellman, and Webster - leading figures in the field - provide practical advice for using Action Research in healthcare settings, with patients and alongside other practitioners. Their book presents a flexible approach that can be adapted to researchers? real needs.

Discussion, Debate and Controversy Surrounding Action Research

Discussion, Debate and Controversy Surrounding Action Research

Discussion, debate and controversy surrounding action research
Graham RWilliamson

Chapter Objectives

There is much controversy surrounding action research. It is open to criticism as ‘not scientific’, not objective and open to bias due to the proximity of researchers and participants. However, a contrary argument views action research as a ‘new paradigm’ approach, a different worldview of research, which therefore does not need to subscribe to its critics' demand for rigour as in traditional research approaches. This chapter will explore these issues, framed in the debates concerning:

  • qualitative and quantitative research and the mixed methods debate;
  • scientific research standards and action research;
  • validity, generalisability, credibility and reflexivity;
  • evaluation studies, audit and AR;
  • critical voices in healthcare action research.


It is characteristic of research methods textbooks that they rehearse arguments about the different research paradigms, these being quantitative and ...

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