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the findings and how believable the study is. My worldview as a researcher equates to one of the positions Greenwood and Levin (1998) include when explaining the differing approaches to action research. After summarising a range of approaches they state: “And a few simply advocate that whatever the question, participation is the answer” (p. 8). This is similar to my worldview as a manager and in part why I have included Wadsworth’s “stewardship without control” in the opening of this thesis. I facilitate and chair meetings, attending to the principles of equal participation and will often invite those who may not have had the opportunity to contribute to do so. Additionally, as I teach on nursing study days I regularly use this statement: ‘I am interested from any others I have not heard from yet …I am interested to hear what you think’.

I believe in order to try to advance knowledge and improve conditions surrounding a social situation it is helpful to ask the people in that situation what is going on. I wanted to conduct research that would further inform the evolution of the role of CNL and further improve the support afforded the role. My worldview as a manager and researcher has been informed to an extent by critical theory. McNiff and Whitehead’s (2006) explanation of critical theory being that it proposes that in order to change a situation you need to understand it, and social situations are generated by people, therefore they can be dismantled and re-constructed. They propose that whilst action research grew out of critical theory it went farther. They add that situations that are taken for granted need to be viewed in the context of power relationships. I believe that in this inquiry, the context of the DHB where the CNL is working cannot be separated from how that context might relate to the inquiry and the responses from those in the role.

The context where the research was undertaken was a DHB, one of 21 in New Zealand. The role of the CNL is encompassed within the clinical management structure of this organisation. There are other clinical leadership roles in nursing in other DHBs as indeed there are internationally. This inquiry can at the least inform those roles about the usefulness of acquiring further knowledge for role development by co-researching with those in the role. The importance of those participating in the research being represented adequately is related to the credibility of the inquiry. In this study there were two phases to


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