The action research methodology lends itself to studying how the role of CNL can be further informed and how the support can be further improved by allowing those in the role to define the role and continue the inquiry in a cyclic participatory fashion. There has been a substantial amount of international research and a minimal amount of New Zealand research carried out that looks at both the broad topic of leadership in nursing and then specifically clinical leadership. Some of the research on clinical leadership has involved those in the role and has produced unique knowledge.
Action research as the methodology of choice (context bound, participatory, collaborative and reflective) linked clearly to my objective to allow those within the role to influence the future development and dialogue around the role. This methodology endorses the participation I intended, and has a strong emphasis on democracy and action and aims to alter the initial situation to a more self-managed one. It is characterised by planning with intention, acting, fact finding, evaluating and then repeating this process in a cyclic nature. Nursing researchers suggest that action research is educative and non hierarchical, as it works with individuals as members of groups and, although it is constrained within a context, this enables it to be problem-focused. Essentially for me, the CNLs were to be co- researchers. The next chapter outlines how this co-researcher relationship was developed.