The ethics of action research participation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

8 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-594
Number of pages22
Journal / PublicationInformation Systems Journal
Issue number3
Online published18 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022



Action research (AR) involves one or more researchers and a client organisation. Many guidelines for and reports of the research method have been published. However, the ethical issues associated with AR have been largely neglected. Our review of the AR literature found that ethical dilemmas and their resolution are rarely and inconsistently reported. Stimulated by this neglect and our personal experiences, we aim to raise awareness and understanding about the ethics of planning, conducting and reporting AR. We identify and discuss four issues of concern that merit specific ethical attention when conducting AR: collaboration, competence, persistence and consent. We draw on these four issues in an analysis that augments the principles and criteria for canonical AR (CAR), recently reified as Integrated Action Research (IAR). Our guidance includes an additional principle of AR and 10 associated criteria to address the ethics of AR participation.

Research Area(s)

  • action research, ethics, research collaboration, research consent, research method, research principles

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