Affiliated Organization

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Action research is seen as one of the solutions to the lack of relevance in the field of information systems because action research has as its primary goal to combine successful intervention in real-world settings with the development of scientific knowledge. The rigor of action research, however, has been questioned regularly. The IS field lacks a set of generally agreed guidelines and criteria to assess action research. This paper builds on earlier efforts to arrive at a set of principles and criteria to assess the rigor of action research and provides the first comprehensive evaluation of 30 recently published AR field studies in mainstream IS journals to test whether such a set of principles and criteria proves to be useful. The objective is to provide a reference framework on which AR design choices can be made and AR papers can be reviewed. The framework proposed in this paper has proven to be applicable to different types of AR and many of its principles are followed in action research field studies. Based on the framework and the review of the field studies, recommendations are made to increase the rigor of action research to achieve more relevance.