The difference between action research and consulting is the role of these practices in scientific research. Although these processes involve investigation, evaluation, and collection of information, they differ in applying the knowledge received. Mainly, in action research practices, the materials collected by the researchers are intended to be beneficial to the scientific field and other scholars1. Therefore, it is supposed that it might allow analyzing the situation further and study it. On the other hand, in consulting, the information has little scientific significance because it is intended to improve the functioning of the healthcare organization. Thus, consulting is less scientific in its nature and has fever references to the scholarly research.
The collected data can justify the conclusions of the action research. According to Holly, the research findings are directly associated with the information received during the investigation. Mainly, the researchers use various qualitative methods of study to identify the context and multiple components of the situation to understand how to solve the issue. Thus, the knowledge collected during the research helps to explain how the researchers obtained their results.
The generalizability of participatory action research is explained by the involvement of multiple people in the investigation process. In particular, different members of such groups help facilitate the process of study by contributing their knowledge and experience. Furthermore, the participation of various researchers provides the chance to observe the situation from different points and regard diverse opinions to understand what might help explain the issue. Consequently, the analysis findings may be generalized based on the collection, evaluation, and systematization of data introduced by all the group members. In addition, the specific point of view of each of the participants allows the researchers to make generalized conclusions.
Holly C. Practice-based scholarly inquiry and the DNP project. 2nd ed. Springer Publishing Company; 2019.
Davison R, Martinsons M. Action research and consulting. Information Systems Action Research.:377-394.
Anyon Y, Bender K, Kennedy H, Dechants J. A Systematic review of youth participatory action research (YPAR) in the United States: Methodologies, youth outcomes, and future directions. Health Education & Behavior. 2018;45(6):865-878.