Understanding Subsistence Marketplaces: Exploring the Contributions of Participatory Action Research


Advances in International Management

2007, vol. 20, pp.111-132

Departments: Marketing

Abstract: This chapter presents an overview of participatory action research and explores how this approach can inform the study of subsistence marketplaces. The diverse historical roots of action research are traced from Kurt Lewin's research on workplace democracy and Paulo Freire's conceptual ideas forged from working with low-literate peasants. We illustrate the potential of action research approaches by exploring in detail a more contemporary form of action research, participatory rural appraisal, and we show the usefulness of this approach to understanding consumer well-being in resource-poor areas. Special emphasis is given to the discussion of the methodology of this popular form of action research and its various applications.