researcher. The group’s outcomes surrounding the role of CNL related robustly to relevant recent research and, in addition, the group defined the role producing a unique proposal related to preparation and professional development.
The position of being an “insider” (Coghlan & Casey, 2001, p. 675) if undertaking research where you were employed, was a view I was aware of before entering the field. I was not only employed in the organisation but I also had functioned in clinical leadership roles. I did not find it a limitation. The participants were willing to share their experiences with me in a frank and honest manner. This candid approach was maintained throughout the action research group work. I am not convinced that we would have reached the outcomes as described if I was an “external agent” (Coghlan & Casey, p. 675) to the group. This research was carried out to work with CNL colleagues to further inform the evolution of the role and the professional support afforded the role as well as for my own personal development. Coghlan and Brannick (2005) refer to insider action research as first, second and third person research. First is research undertaken that contributes to the researchers own personal development. Second person research is with colleagues on issues of mutual concern and third person research sees the development of theory from such a collaborative research experience. Coghlan and Brannick describe how the insider has valuable information about the culture of their organisation but caution being too close to the data as this may mean not enough questioning on the researcher’s part. Journaling was a regular process for me and that allowed me to be both non-canonical and honest about my pre-understanding. I constantly asked myself in the group work, what is going on?
One criticism of action research is that it is only locally relevant. Freshwater (2005) contests and states “social and political context will have some resonance with other organizations, while the local factors may differ slightly; the principles underpinning the transformatory approach to theory and practice are transferable to any clinical situation” (p. 220). I agree with Freshwater as there are clinical leadership roles in nursing throughout the other DHBs in New Zealand. While each may have different organisational position descriptions it is likely that the findings of this study will have some relevance.