The highly practical nature of action research sometimes leads to results that have little to contribute in terms of new scholarly knowledge. Although a difficult practical problem may have been resolved, academic publications will often reject reports of the results because the theoretical value is trivial. It appears necessary for IS theory, knowledge and methods to be selected and operationalized in advance, in order to prevent research studies from spiraling into consulting projects of little theoretical interest. However, the most valuable venues for action research often lie in the intractable problems of practice -- problems that cannot be directly fixed by existing knowledge. In addition, the selection of theory and methods may happen dynamically in real settings, as the problem and various solutions are explored. How do action researchers account for their methods and results given the current logic of science and the development and testing of theory? How are multi-method approaches used in action research in order to create opportunities in arriving at relevant theoretical results?
Baskerville, Richard; Chiasson, Mike; Lee, Allen; and Mathiassen, Lars, "Educing Theory from Practice: Developing Significant Theory from Action Research" (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. 482.