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4.1. Introduction

This chapter details the design of the study as well as the methods and processes used to conduct this action research project. It addresses issues related to ethics, rigour and presents the author’s worldview plus the challenge of conducting research in an organisation where you are employed. A two stage design was used; the first involved gaining individual perspectives of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role. These perspectives were used as a basis for beginning the action research group process. The characteristics of the participants were to be CNLs active in the role who worked in a variety of practice settings within the organisation. The second phase was the presentation of these themes post analysis to the action research group consisting of the same participants.

The two stage design allowed me to collect a data set from individual interviews and then to take this collection to the group as a basis for commencing group work. The interview was the deliberate first start of a cycle. Essentially, the participants would provide a pool of data that would then allow me to analyse it and present the findings back to the group to include, disregard, negate or ignore. Dick (1993) recounts that using a cyclic or spiral approach allows for later cycles to question the findings, making the action research approach “a process of iteration” (p. 11). He endorses this entering with intent influenced by the work of Lewin (1948) who advised that the dynamics of a social system are often more apparent in times of change.

Phase two was the action group process. This commenced when the interview themes were presented for group consideration. The analysis of this data, characteristic of action research, did not occur in a chronological fashion. Themes were debated, rejected, revisited, rejected again and agreed in a fashion far more spiral than linear. Gummeson (2000) argues action research process could not be described as either linear or efficient. It is interactive, aiming at holistic understanding during a project and, as Gummeson


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