Action Research Manifesto

Action Research: Transforming Knowledge Systems and Science Manifesto

We, the undersigned global leaders and friends of Action Research are committed as a community to doing work that brings distinctive positive impact through the collaborative character of our research/practice.

What makes our work fundamental to the revitalization of social science more generally lies in its actionability, reflexivity, significance of impact and more generally that it evolves from partnership and participation

By partnership and participation we mean active engagement of stakeholder  along a spectrum of partnership in designing and assessing changes. By actionable we refer to the contribution to  new ideas and action in response to need.  By reflexive we mean acknowledging the self as an instrument of change among change agents and our partner stakeholders. By significant we mean having meaning and relevance beyond an immediate context in support of the flourishing of persons, communities, and the wider ecology.

We agree that quality in knowledge co-production avoids conventional practices of writing in “insider” jargon, encouraging self-referentiality and promotes a reward system with positive impact with stakeholders.

We see our work, for example published in Action Research Journal, (a peer reviewed Sage Publication) also as a model for conventional social science whose output, with some exceptions, has lost relevance for the larger public. We see our efforts at AR+ ( as one way to coordinate together to accomplish more than the sum of our individual efforts. 

Toward a new social science: Deepening democracy

At this time we are called to engage with unprecedented challenges that are compounding:  challenges such as poverty and inequality, climate change, globalization, the ethical use of technology, the information technology revolution, inequalities and fundamentalism of all types. Therefore, action researchers are concerned with the conduct and application of research but unlike applied researchers, we engage local stakeholders in problem definition, research processes, interpretation of results, design of actions, and evaluation of outcomes. In this way, we step beyond conventional and applied research into the democratization of research processes and program design, implementation strategies, and evaluation in a way that deepens human interactions and well-being.  

The following signatures are of leaders whose work exemplifies and promotes quality in action research.

Hilary Bradbury, Ph.D., Editor in Chief, Action Research. Convener: AR+

and signatures below…AR_Manifesto_2017

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