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Science involves techniques and measures that are employed to gather new knowledge. It can also entail expanding or integrating the already existing knowledge. Scientific methods allow for systematic and procedural steps in the development of facts through observation and other comprehensive mechanisms of analysis. Action research achieves the threshold to be a scientific technique. According to Shani and Pasmore, the dentition that action research involves a sequence of events that aim at effective problem-solving in an organization conforms to scientific processes that involve logical steps in attaining new knowledge or integrating the already existing facts. In addition, the main goal of action research is to develop competence in employees that will help in giving a solution to organizational problems. This further proves the action research to be a scientific model since science is basically concerned about equipping individuals with new skills and approaches. In the acquiring of the desired information, Coghlan & Brannick (2005, p. 6) explain that action research ensures analysis of the gathered data to ensure that the knowledge acquired is effective in solving the existing problems. This is similar to science that involves analysis of all information to avoid conflicting ideas. At the onset of the acquiring of the proven data, a cause of action is taken in both action research and scientific procedures. Accordingly, to ensure effective acquired data in the problem solving, action research further analyses the outcomes which match with scientific models that ensure that all the findings are efficiently reviewed to constantly prove their validity. Action research borrows some concepts from traditional scientific methods, according to Kurt Lewin's definition, that action research involves developing new knowledge that ensures problem-solving between researchers and clients. This matches traditional scientific research that also solely aims at providing solutions to various problems. Notably, the two rely on the developed knowledge in effecting their desired changes.
Action research entails the collaborative involvement of the clients in the assertion of change to develop the organization. Both the researcher and the client participate in democratic exercise in effecting changes in the organization. This is different from other scientific methods in most of which democratic participation is not practiced. The lack of the clients involvement has often presented challenges to the researcher as it will result into resistance in the firm. Owing to the lack of involvement individuals will always develop retrogressive tendencies which will result into resisting the changes being adopted. Consequently, it will result in dissatisfaction in the organization among the clients which may induce various malpractices. On the contrary, action research allows for democratic involvement between the researchers and the clients. Every individual in the organization will participate in the effecting of change in the organization. This will result in satisfaction in the firm as the opinions of each individual will be integrated into the change adoption process. Susman & Evered (1978, p. 590) opine that it further implements the changes to be effective as any resistance will not be faced in the process. For example, in an investment firm implementation of some investment decisions without involving the employees at times have resulted into employees demonstration that has led to termination of the firms operations. However, the involvement of employees in the action research has often created good rap in the firm besides leading to effective operations of the investment firm. In addition, Kurt Lewin affirms that action research outlines the detailed process of introducing changes in the organization which is not clearly depicted in other scientific methods. Initially, Lewin acknowledges that freezing should be undertaken first. Freezing involves making every member of the organization well conversant with the desired change. It also involves keenly identifying the forces which would like to oppose the change and hence maintain their status quo. He reiterates that forces that are for the change should be identified and encouraged. Secondly, he opines that the second step in the action research is the introduction of the proposed change to all the individuals in the organization. Finally, he elucidates that unfreezing should be undertaken. This involves the process of observing whether the change has been successfully adopted. Lewin states that various measures should be undertaken as per the client's reaction to the change. The detailed process has posed a challenge to the action research as it is time-consuming, contrary to other scientific models. However, the conclusive steps make it to be more effective in problem-solving and effecting changes, unlike scientific methods. The foregoing manifests the detailed and logical process that action research entails which is not evident in other scientific methods.
Contrary to scientific methods that basically aim at problem-solving in the organization, action research has two main objectives to achieve. Initially they aim at problem solving and then contributing the developed knowledge to the science. After adopting the cause of action required in the process of reflecting the actions adopted to expand or integrate the already existing scientific knowledge. This process of reflecting on the cause of action is always associated with various challenges. Interpretation in most cases will vary among individuals hence resulting in conflicting ideas affected in the scientific knowledge. According to Cassell & Johnson (2006, p. 786), action research aims at holistic development that will result into competence in the problem-solving. Besides giving a solution to the problems, it gives a detailed understanding of the procedural mechanisms in the realization of these changes in the firm. The holistic development has provided the required skills for future solution of organization problems. This is clearly depicted in the Kurt Lewins model of effecting change in the organization.