Julie Ozanne, Virginia Tech
Laurel Anderson, Arizona State University

This article describes a research and action method that has proven useful for both service innovation and design and for transformative services impact. Community action research is an alternative research method that uses the community as the unit of analysis. This approach seeks to forge alliances with relevant stakeholders in the community to explore and develop solutions to local problems. Co-creation occurs at all points in the process. The broad research approach is explained and the principles that guide this methodology are explored. In particular, the focus of this paper is on the complexities and dilemmas of doing community action research and findings from a field study focused on health and health services that are used to illustrate these issues. The field research occurred in a community with a high rate of diabetes. The ultimate goal of this research method is to develop sustainable community-based solutions and services to pressing consumer health and social problems.


This article is forthcoming in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing