To a large extent, research in business and the social sciences is based on theoretical constructs about existing organizations, phenomena, or behavior, followed by tests of hypotheses derived from these constructs. The goal usually is to describe or explain the organizations, phenomena, or behavior being studied and/or to generalize the findings to future organizations, phenomena, or behavior. Conversely, the goal of action research is to effect a desirable change within a specific social setting—one in which the researcher is an active participant. It is a value‐driven, cyclical, and transformative process that uses intervention in a setting, based on observation and theoretical constructs, to alleviate an observed problem or to increase the effectiveness of a practice in the setting. This paper describes action research and provides an example of how faculty can use it to help them diminish observed classroom problems or increase the effectiveness of their classroom strategies.

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