Can action research be made more rigorous in a positivist sense The contribution of an iterative approach
How can action research be made more rigorous We discuss in this paper action research, positivism and some major criticisms of action research by positivists. We then examine issues relating the conduct of IS research in organisations through multiple iterations in the action research cycle proposed by Susman and Evered. We argue that the progress through iterations allows the researcher to gradually broaden the research scope and in consequence add generality to the research findings. A brief illustrative case is provided with a study on groupware introduction in a large civil engineering company. In the light of this illustrative case we contend that effective application of the iterative approach to action research has the potential to bring research rigour up closer to standards acceptable by positivists and yet preserve the elements that characterise action research as such.