Keywords: action research, research methodology, continuous improvement, collaborative improvement, inter-organisational processes
Action research in collaborative improvement
There is an increasing need to apply and transfer continuous improvement (CI) to inter-organisational processes. As such collaborative improvement (CoI) is emerging as a new concept within managerial literature and practice. This paper begins with a discussion on the logic and value of applying action research (AR) in empirical research in the field of CI and CoI to contribute to both theory and practice. It introduces the theory and characteristics of AR and describes the implementation of an AR process in an inter-organisational setting through the adoption of an AR model. Finally, it discusses the generation of theory through AR and concludes that AR is relevant and valid in research on CI and CoI as it contributes both to concerns of practitioners and the body of knowledge.