Bridging the gap between academic research and technological practice: Roles, benefits and pitfalls of action research in information systems development
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
This paper highlights the shortfalls of traditional approaches to academic research in the technological sciences, with respect to their failure to effectively impact on practice and tosupport joint learning between academicians and practitioners. Action Research (AR) is proposedas a suitable way of bridging this gap. AR is an inquiry process that involves partnership between researchers and practitioners for the purpose of addressing a real life problem issue, while simultaneously generating scientific knowledge. It is recognized that AR methods provide apotential avenue to improve the practical relevance of Information Systems (IS) research. An ARapproach has been used in an ongoing study involving the development of Decision SupportSystems (DSS) for water supply management in Uganda. The study seeks to explore how thedegree of adoption of DSS in practice, generally perceived to be low, may be improved.However, AR is not without its challenges, many of which are both contextual and emergent innature, and these are highlighted in the paper. The case study thus provides an opportunity, notonly to carry out research specific to the particular field of study (IS development), but also to reflect on the roles, benefits and pitfalls of AR as a research approach.
Action Research, Joint learning, Collaborative research, Decision Support Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8668OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8668DiVA: diva2:14050
QC 201007232008-06-042008-06-042010-07-23Bibliographically approved