Hand (2003) sees that in using the qualitative approach, the researcher and the research cannot be significantly separated and that detachment is impossible. The researcher both affects and is influenced by the process of carrying out the research. Waterman (1998) suggests that the action researcher, often a practitioner themselves as in my case, strengthens their position by bringing to the fore their preconceived notions and prejudice. It is fair to say that as I carried out this analysis I brought my knowledge from 32 years nursing, three as a student. My background of having worked at this District Health Board for 28 years in a range of roles including acting charge in various clinical settings and with a long standing interest in clinical leadership meant I had extensively considered the role in its entirety, possessing as Waterman describes ‘preconceived’ ideas about the role. In light of this, I was conscious of not reading my ideas into the interviews; rather I used my knowledge to interpret what was shared through the interviews.
Finally this starting point (the interviews and the subsequent thematic analysis) saw the results (presented in section 5.3) presented to the action research group for further analysis on the role of Clinical Nurse Leader. Phase Two, the presentation of these themes post analysis to the action research group was to follow.
Phase Two Action Research Group Process
Wadsworth (2001) states that facilitating an action research process and attending to both the content and the action research process is “knitting socks on 24 needles at the same time” (p. 421). Coghlan and Brannick (2005) explain the dynamics of action research in a group are complex. One of the key elements of action research that Reason and Bradbury (2006) refer to as important is “the development of relational participation” (p. 350). This relational participation commences at the initial establishment of the group and centres on the type of participation that arises from subsequent group work. This relationship sets up a space for the inquiry to be undertaken, a space where concern for each other, trust, equal influence and shared language is present.
Park (2006) refers to participative research utilising dialogue as an “important methodological link and as occupying a principal position in action research among