Action research in turbulent environments: an example in e-commerce prioritisation

Daniel, Elizabeth and Wilson, H.N. (2004). Action research in turbulent environments: an example in e-commerce prioritisation. European Journal of Marketing, 38(3/4) pp. 355–377.




Planning tools originating from logical rational models of strategy formation still have their place in e-commerce, albeit complemented with elements of incrementalism and vision. Tools for prioritisation specifically, though, are unvalidated in this sphere. Action research would seem to be well suited to turbulent environments such as e-commerce, due to its immediacy of outcome, its future orientation, its respect for practitioners as co-producers of knowledge and its cyclical process. An action research study is described which modifies the directional policy matrix (DPM) to take account of competition between business models, not just between individual organisations. Conclusions are drawn on the wider applicability of the matrix, the role of strategy tools in situations of uncertainty, and the role of action research in reducing the gap between theory and practice

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