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responsibility as an employer as well as the responsibility as a researcher, which could translate into tension between loyalty to the organisation and loyalty to the research process and participants. I reflected regularly within a journal on my role in the action research meetings, aware of such considerations and Coghlan and Casey’s description of being the “insider” (p. 675).

The framing of the project is the key, according to Coghlan and Casey (2001), even to the detail of language used when referring to the aim of the project. To think in terms of issues is the preferred option they suggest. If terms such as problems are used, this may lead to convergent thinking. Equally, they add using the word “opportunity” (p. 678) will lead to divergent thinking, a sense of excitement and potential creativity. I was very aware of some of theses challenges at the outset. Finally, they summarise that one of the most important of issues for the nurse researcher is managing the politics of the organisation.

Undertaking an action research project in one’s own hospital is political and might even be considered subversive. In many respects action research is subversive: it examines everything, stresses listening, emphasizes questioning, fosters courage, incites action, abets reflection and endorses democratic participation. (p. 677)


Phase One Interview

During the month of October 2005 I entered the field to commence the interviews with those active in the role of clinical leadership in nursing. This first phase was important to the research as it would provide an opportunity for all seven participants, in a one-to-one interview to say whatever they wanted about the role. In order to facilitate this I used the following opening question in all interviews. “Tell me about your experience as a Clinical Nurse Leader”. Throughout the interview I used, where necessary, the following prompts: feelings about the role, interactions with the communities they lead and a prompt to ask them to describe the important features of the role. The length of interview spanned from 40 minutes to 90 minutes as the seven CNLs responded to the inquiry. These initial taped one-to-one interviews were completed in December 2005. Each interview was then


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