Value of the Action Research Model

IOD's Action Research Model


In the field of organizational development (OD), the Action Research Model stands as the most powerful and valuable approach. This model, introduced by Kurt Lewin in the late 1930s, is rooted in the principles behavioral science and demonstrates a human behavior approach to encourage members of the organization to create change through techniques such as relationship building, collaboration, problem solving, decision making, and continuous improvement processes, and offers organizations a structured and systematic way to drive meaningful change. In this article, we will explore the value of the Organization Development Action Research Model and how it can benefit organizations seeking to enhance their effectiveness and achieve sustainable growth.

  1. Promoting Learning and Reflection: At the heart of the Organization Development Action Research Model is a focus on learning and reflection. It encourages organizations to engage in a cyclical process of inquiry, action, and reflection, where data is collected, analyzed, and used to inform decision-making and change initiatives. This iterative process fosters a culture of continuous learning, allowing organizations to adapt and improve based on real-time feedback and insights.
  1. Empowering Collaboration and Participation: One of the key values of the Action Research Model is its emphasis on collaboration and participation. It encourages individuals at all levels of the organization to actively engage in the research process, ensuring diverse perspectives and ideas are considered. By involving employees, stakeholders, and even external experts in the research and action phases, organizations can tap into the collective intelligence of their workforce and foster a sense of ownership and commitment to the change initiatives.
  2. Driving Evidence-Based Decision Making: The Action Research Model places a strong emphasis on data collection and analysis. This data-driven approach enables organizations to make informed decisions based on evidence rather than assumptions or intuition. By gathering and analyzing relevant information, such as employee feedback, performance metrics, or market trends, organizations can identify patterns, diagnose challenges, and design targeted interventions that address underlying issues and support effective decision-making.

To learn more about the Action Research Model and how to apply it as a consistent model for change, Institute of Organization Development offers an ODCP Certification Program to advance your career in the field of OD.

  1. Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness: The primary goal of the Action Research Model is to enhance organizational effectiveness. By engaging in a systematic and intentional process of inquiry and action, organizations can identify areas of improvement and implement tailored interventions to address them. This model allows organizations to identify and leverage their strengths, improve processes, enhance communication and collaboration, and ultimately optimize performance and productivity.
  2. Fostering Change Ownership and Sustainability: The collaborative nature of the Action Research Model fosters a sense of ownership among participants. As individuals actively contribute to the research, planning, and implementation phases, they become more invested in the outcomes and are more likely to support and sustain the change initiatives. This sense of ownership contributes to the long-term sustainability of the changes implemented and helps create a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.

The Organization Development Action Research Model brings immense value to organizations seeking to drive meaningful change and enhance their effectiveness. By promoting learning, collaboration, evidence-based decision-making, and change ownership, this model provides a structured and systematic approach to navigate complex organizational challenges. As organizations embrace the Action Research Model, they embark on a journey of discovery, empowerment, and continuous improvement that can lead to sustainable growth and success in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.

To learn more about the Action Research Model and how to apply it as a consistent model for change, Institute of Organization Development offers an ODCP Certification Program to advance your career in the field of OD.

About the Author

Dr. Nancy Zentis, Ph.D.,
CEO and Founder of the Institute of Organization Development. Contact: The Institute of Organization Development offers online Certification Programs on Organization Development, OD Process Consulting, Talent Management, Executive Coaching

 IOD also sponsors, a global OD Professional Membership Organization, offering member benefits such as a Professional Directory, OD Tools, Monthly Events, a Job Board, and Member Connect.  If you are interested in joining, click here.


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