This paper focuses on ‘why’, ‘what’ and How issues as they relate to the investigation of change in a nursing context The why issues revolve around the need for change, and evolutionary and revolutionary change are discussed Next the what issues are discussed and some variables involved in the change process are identified, and the role of change agents is outlined Change strategies such as the power-coersive, the rational-empirical and the normative—re-education are discussed Finally, the potential of action research in the context of bringing about change is advanced