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Master in Action Research and Transformation (mART)

Why Master in Action Research and Transformation?

Transforming together...



The world has been going through a great change and transformation process where companies and institutions face game-changing challenges. Opportunities such as the internet and social media that facilitate communication and cooperation, artificial intelligence technologies, virtual reality, traveling in space, and threats such as climate change, food crises, and pandemics push individuals and organizations to find agile and innovative solutions. These changes and transformations require a more holistic, participatory, egalitarian, sustainable collaboration, and knowledge generation approach.

mART aims to train leaders who can effectively manage the change and transformation processes that will inevitably be faced in the upcoming period. As a core competency, the program aims to assist leaders in developing their ability to co-generate knowledge, make decisions, do business and find solutions, create a common interest formula, develop a cooperation advantage, establish and manage teams, and establish and manage decentralized and co-managed structures.

mART, whose mission is defined as 'Contributing to social and institutional transformation by feeding from different disciplines', aims to meet the increasing number of transformational needs in the business world by considering action research as a transformation management tool. These transformations need new knowledge and a new type of leadership. These leaders need to construct change tools and mechanisms, along with producing vision, meaning and purpose. AR approaches and methods respond to this need.

Within the framework of the program, participants will create and conduct an action research project on organizational development/transformation in their home company or in another company and will write an article about the project. The project will be carried out in an integrated manner with all courses. This will enable participants to gain hands-on experience in solving real organizational challenges.

The program will enable participants to develop collaborations with institutions and academics working on AR on an international platform to provide a global perspective.

Program's Target Group

The program is designed for top-middle level managers and their substitutes working at private companies, public institutions, SMEs, and NGOs and holding at least a bachelor's degree. The courses will be held in the evenings and on weekends, suitable for working managers.

Since the language of the program is English, a good command of English is required. Applicants can take Sabancı University's English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE) completely free of charge. In order to take the exam, the online application must be completed. 

Program Objectives

  • Train change management leaders who can adopt, implement, and design new management tools in a period of increasing uncertainty and decreasing predictability in Turkey and in the world,
  • Ensure that participants gain hands-on experience solving real organizational challenges,
  • Enhance the capacity of participants to support and improve the knowledge management dimension of transformation projects conducted in Turkey and abroad through engaging action research to manage them,
  • Develop collaboration with international institutions, academics and practitioners of action research through real or immersive experiences for meaningful interaction with ongoing global projects.


Why Action Research?

With its active, participatory, and democratic nature, which focuses on change and transformation, action research (AR) stands out as an ideal research paradigm for transformation processes. It aims to develop practical and pragmatic knowledge of action and generate new knowledge that will help us understand by changing transformation processes and patterns, to advance inquiry and bring immediate benefit to the field. mART aims to train leaders who can effectively manage the change and transformation processes that will inevitably shape the relevant organizational context now and in the future.



mART, which defines its mission as "contributing to social and institutional transformation by drawing on different disciplines," aims to meet the increasing transformational needs in the business world by taking AR as a transformation management tool. mART is a 12-month non-thesis master's program taught in English and the classes are generally held on weekday evenings from 18:30-22:00 and on Saturdays during the day.

mART courses are conducted in collaboration with Sabancı University faculty members, senior executives such as Ömer Aras from QNB Finansbank, Hasan Süel from Vodafone, consultancy firms such as Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and ACM Agile, and international actors and partners such as Erasmus University. The program adopts a pedagogy that requires participants to actively engage in live project cases.

Required Courses

Course ECTSSU Credit
MART 801Transformation Practices and Action Research63
MART 802Decision Making Practice63
MART 803Introduction to Action Research and Transformation63
MART 805Reflective Practicum in Organizational Transformation63
MART 807Corporate Innovation and Managing the Ecosystem63
MART 809Leadership for Managing Transformations63
MART 810Organizational Development and Transformation63
MART 820Graduation Project300

Elective Courses

Course ECTS CreditSU Credit
MART 804Agile Transformation31,5
MART 806Workforce Organization and Transformation31,5
MART 808Supply Chain Transformation: Cooperation and Complexity31,5
MART 811Stakeholder & Internal Communication: Reputation Management31,5
MART 816Sustainability Transformation63
MART 818Digital Transformation and Innovation31,5
MART 819Design Thinking and the Power of Storytelling in Business31,5
MART 821Corporate Diplomacy31,5



Overseas Study Trip*

Within the scope of mART, participants visit partner institutions that work on Action Research abroad and carry out joint study with these institutions. In 2024, the Overseas Study Trip is planned to take place between May 15-20 in Norway hosted by AFF which is the oldest (65-year-old) leadership development program in the world. AFF, which is Norway's largest leadership and organizational development consultancy firm and works in collaboration with the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), ranks in the top 50 in the Financial Times Executive Education Open Programs and Executive Education Custom Programs rankings. During the trip, topics such as leadership, transformation, and action research will be covered by meeting with institutions such as East Office of Norway, NHH, Jotun, Deloitte, and conducting joint workshops.

* The Overseas Study Trip is a voluntary trip, and the pricing is not included in the program fee.


mART in Action

mART kapsamında katılımcılar programın yurtdışında Eylem Araştırması üzerine çalışmalar yapan partner kurumları ziyaret ederek, kurumla ortak çalışmalar yürütmektedirler. 2023 yılında bu gezi, 15-20 Mayıs 2023 tarihleri arasında, dünyadaki en eski (70 yıllık) lider geliştirme programı olan AFF Norveç ev sahipliğinde gerçekleşmiştir. Norveç'in en büyük liderlik ve organizasyonel gelişim danışmanlığı firması olan ve the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ile iş birliği içinde çalışmalar yürüten AFF, Financial Times Executive Education Open Programmes ve Executive Education Custom Programmes sıralamalarında ilk elli arasında yer almaktadır. Gezi kapsamında East Office of Norway, NHH, Jotun, Deloitte gibi kurumlarla görüşülerek ve ortak çalıştaylar yapılarak liderlik, dönüşüm ve eylem araştırması gibi konularda çalışmalar yapılmıştır.

2011 yılından beri, alanının prestijli dergilerinden biri olan Uluslararası Eylem Araştırmaları Dergisi (International Journal of Action Research- IJAR) ile işbirliği içinde düzenlenen IJAR Sempozyumları serisinin altıncısı, 12-14 Ekim 2022 tarihleri arasında, Sabancı Üniversitesi ARAMA İnisiyatifi tarafından, Maslak’taki Facebook İstasyon’da hibrit olarak düzenlenmiştir.  Etkinlik ‘Eylem Araştırması’ alanının öncü isimlerini İstanbul’da bir araya getirmiştir. Detaylar için lütfen tıklayınız.

Eylem Araştırması ve Dönüşüm Tezsiz Yüksek Programı Tanıtım ToplantısıMayıs, 2024 20:00Online session only: ZoomClick here!
Eylem Araştırması ve Dönüşüm Tezsiz Yüksek Programı Tanıtım ToplantısıHaziran, 202415:30Hybrid session: Altunizade Digital Campus, Room: ALT101 & ZoomClick here!


Application Process


Applications for the 2023 - 2024 Academic Year of the Master in Action Research and Transformation Program are now open!

Applying to the mART program

Applicants to the mART Program should have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 10 years of managerial experience.

The application process begins by completing the online application form, which is available below. Following this, all short-listed candidates are expected to attend a personal interview on campus. Further information about the application requirements can be found below. We strongly encourage all applicants to visit our campus, if possible, to attend classes and meet current students. Our classes take place at Sabancı University's Altunizade Digital Campus on weekday evenings and Saturdays.



Tunç T. Evcimen, Action Research Program Manager

Yönetim Bilimleri Fakültesi, Sabancı Üniversitesi Orta Mah. Üniversite Cad. No:27 Orhanlı-Tuzla, 34956 İstanbul, Türkiye