RESEARCH ACTION AND SCIENTIFIC VALIDITY
 
Heller, F., The Tavistock Insitute, UK
 
Research Action (RA) is a social science method that combines knowledge acquisition with implementation. In the research phase of RA, knowledge can be acquired through a range of different methods, from traditional cross- sectional quantitative data collection to longitudinal case study or ethnographic material. Research Action is based on the work of Kurt Lewin who called the method Action Research (AR). Most of Lewin's work had a substantial knowledge acquisition phase before action, but over the last two decades the term AR has been misused to virtually confine the activity to the introduction of change and In the research phase of RA, knowledge can be acquired through a range of different methods, from traditional cross-sectional quantitative data collection to longitudinal case study or ethnographic material. Research Action iween AR and RA. Chris Argyris uses the term Action Science that is close to RA. Research from Lewin and this author will be cited to establish the utility and legitimacy of RA and show how it develops it own multiple validity. In the first place, being usually longitudinal, its findings are closer to psychological reality than cross- sectional methods. Secondly, implementation in the action phase establishes empirical and predictive validity. Finally, under optimum conditions, the results are jointly interpreted and agreed by participants as well as researchers, thus establishing face and consensual validity.