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  • Sahil Shaikh

Action Research Process:Planning Organizational Change

In this article, we explore how organizations can benefit from using action research process for planning and implementing change. We'll take a step-by-step approach to explain the process and identify its key benefits and challenges.

Defining Action Research

Action research is a collaborative and iterative process that involves understanding organizational issues, developing strategies, and gathering and analyzing data to drive change. It is a problem-solving approach that empowers employees at all levels to participate in the change process, and it facilitates organizational learning and continuous improvement.

The Benefits of Using Action Research Process for Change Planning

​Increased Engagement

Improved Effectiveness

Enhanced Learning

Employee participation in the change process leads to increased ownership and accountability for organizational outcomes.

The data-driven approach of action research ensures that change efforts are evidence-based and targeted to the specific needs of the organization.

Action research offers opportunities for

organizational learning and capacity building, which can lead to sustained improvements.

Identifying the Problem

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." - Lewis Carroll

Before embarking on any change initiative, it's important to identify the current problem or issue that needs to be addressed. This involves analyzing the current situation, gathering data, and identifying areas for improvement. A clear understanding of the problem sets the foundation for developing an effective action plan.

Developing an Action Plan

​Setting Goals and Objectives for Change

Identifying Potential Strategies for Achieving the Goals

​Clearly defined goals and objectives provide direction and purpose for the change process. They also facilitate evaluation of the effectiveness of the change effort.

Every goal needs a plan. Action research process encourages exploration of multiple strategies to achieve each goal, and then selecting the most appropriate ones based on data-driven analysis.

Implementing the Plan

This is where the rubber hits the road. The action plan is put into action, and the change process begins. It is essential to communicate the change to all stakeholders and to be open to feedback and input. Roadblocks or challenges that emerge should be addressed in a collaborative manner, involving all stakeholders.

Evaluating the Results

Assessing the Effectiveness of the Change Process

The data-driven approach of action research enables organizations to assess the extent to which the goals and objectives of the change process have been achieved. Based on this analysis, the organization can make informed decisions on future changes.

Analyzing the Outcomes and Identifying Areas for Further Improvement

The evaluation of the change process is not only about measuring the effectiveness of the specific changes but is also a great opportunity for identifying further areas for improvement and insights for future growth.


Action research process has significant benefits for organizational change planning, and it is a data-driven approach that fosters participation and continuous improvement.

However, there are significant challenges, including the need for organizational buy-in, effective communication, and collective visioning. Nevertheless, the benefits of action research outweigh its challenges, and it remains a valuable tool for organizational change management.

Next Steps : Start empowering your team to make changes that work for your business. The power of action research is that you can keep repeating the steps to continuously improve.

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