Collaborative writing as action research: A story in the making


  • Diana Austin
  • Yedida Bessemer
  • Susan Goff
  • Geof Hill
  • Liz Orr
  • Vicki Vaartjes


Co-operative action inquiry, Collaborative academic writing, Action research, Collaboration, Action research process, Reflection, Researchers’ relationships


A small, transnational group of action researchers came into a collaborative writing venture as part of a broader research inquiry. The inquiry was looking into the role of action research publications in manifesting action research in the world. It was mandated by the Action Learning Action Research Association as input to strategic planning for the future publication directions of the association. Early in our research engagement, the group was offered an opportunity to critically examine our collaborative writing process as it was unfolding, to carry out real time action research into writing up action research and action learning, proceeding through publication into a journal, and tracking how the paper played a role if any, in the manifestation of action research and action learning in the world. Our intention is to share these reflections with ALARA readership beginning with the formation of the collaboration and the working out of how to write together. This paper captures the in-time articulation of language, argumentation, peer and reviewer critique as a way of manifesting the structures, methods and choices that we, as a group, are grappling with as we seek to actualise egalitarian and participatory principles to deliver our co-research. The paper aims to benefit fellow practitioners who have an interest in collaborative writing ventures.



How to Cite

Austin, D., Bessemer, Y., Goff, S., Hill, G., Orr, L., & Vaartjes, V. (2021). Collaborative writing as action research: A story in the making. Action Learning and Action Research Journal, 27(1), 36–62. Retrieved from