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Exploring the effectiveness of action research as a tool for organisational change in health care

Exploring the effectiveness of action research as a tool for organisational change in health care
Exploring the effectiveness of action research as a tool for organisational change in health care
This paper acknowledges the similarities between action research and successful strategies for planned organizational change, and uses an action research case study to explore the extent to which democratic and participatory approaches to organizational change, such as action research, can flourish in a context of externally imposed targets, as is characteristic of the UK National Health Service. Using case study findings, the authors claim that some practice changes are possible, but that locally devised targets may not be achievable if managers' attention is distracted by other priorities or if targets are in conflict with externally set targets. The authors emphasise the value of engaging managers as well as practitioners in action research, and identify that an action research approach not only has the potential for positive organizational change, but can also provide a unique data set on how central policy translates into practice and patient outcomes. Whether or not planned change occurs, with action research there is always potential for new understandings to emerge.
action research, organizational change, health services administration, politics
389-399
Bridges, J.
57e80ebe-ee5f-4219-9bbc-43215e8363cd
Meyer, J.
50b8fd43-2b12-481c-bb05-9e4bfc38f44a
Bridges, J.
57e80ebe-ee5f-4219-9bbc-43215e8363cd
Meyer, J.
50b8fd43-2b12-481c-bb05-9e4bfc38f44a

Bridges, J. and Meyer, J. (2007) Exploring the effectiveness of action research as a tool for organisational change in health care. Journal of Research in Nursing, 12 (4), 389-399. (doi:10.1177/1744987107078635).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper acknowledges the similarities between action research and successful strategies for planned organizational change, and uses an action research case study to explore the extent to which democratic and participatory approaches to organizational change, such as action research, can flourish in a context of externally imposed targets, as is characteristic of the UK National Health Service. Using case study findings, the authors claim that some practice changes are possible, but that locally devised targets may not be achievable if managers' attention is distracted by other priorities or if targets are in conflict with externally set targets. The authors emphasise the value of engaging managers as well as practitioners in action research, and identify that an action research approach not only has the potential for positive organizational change, but can also provide a unique data set on how central policy translates into practice and patient outcomes. Whether or not planned change occurs, with action research there is always potential for new understandings to emerge.

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More information

Published date: July 2007
Keywords: action research, organizational change, health services administration, politics
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 360660
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/360660
PURE UUID: 74a07170-ba69-457e-86ae-8c44033513cb
ORCID for J. Bridges: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6776-736X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Jan 2014 16:07
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:31

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