Information systems research has been criticized for having little influence on practice. One approach to achieving more relevance is to conduct research using appropriate research methods that balance the interests of both researchers and practitioners. This paper examines the similarities between two methods that address this mandate by adopting a proactive stance to investigating information systems in organizations. These two approaches, action research and design research, both directly intervene in real-world domains and effect changes in these domains. We investigate these similarities by examining exemplars of each type of research according to the criteria of the other. Our analysis reveals interesting parallels and similarities between the two, suggesting that the two approaches have much to learn from each other. Based on our analysis, we propose ways to facilitate cross-fertilization between the two approaches that we believe will be useful for both and for IS research in general.
Cole, Robert; Purao, Sandeep; Rossi, Matti; and Sein, Maung, "Being Proactive: Where Action Research Meets Design Research" (2005). ICIS 2005 Proceedings. 27.