The terminology of mode 2 knowledge production has become increasingly prominent in discussions on the nature and purpose of management research. This paper attempts to move our understanding of this terminology forward, by providing a detailed exposition of the five features of mode 2 knowledge production in the context of management research and by offering an empirical account of a research project conducted in mode 2. The paper relates the established problem–solving management research traditions of action research, cooperative inquiry, grounded theory and clinical method to the conceptual territory of mode 2. It then considers a specific form of knowledge production where all five features of mode 2 appear simultaneously. The paper demonstrates how the terminology of mode 2 might provide a useful basis for dialogue between management researchers from different methodological traditions. Moreover, the paper concludes that the specific form of mode 2 where all five features are present (called here 5mode2) does differ, in both its conduct and the character of its output, from any of the established approaches considered in this paper.