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Title: Exploring the processes of action learning in the National Health Service : dilemmas and paradoxes of evaluation
Author: Botham, David
ISNI:       0000 0000 3414 5858
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 1993
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Action Learning has become one of the most important processes for accelerating change and development to emerge in the National Health Service within the last few years. This thesis is concerned with an exploration of action learning through a piece of evaluative research which focuses on three management development programmes. The study can be seen as having three anchors. Firstly, the three programmes with their stated aims, sponsored and located within the North Western Regional Health Authority, between 1987-1990. Secondly, the use of action learning as the principal framework of evaluation. Thirdly, the movement towards a self-reflexive study as the evaluation progressed. This means that as the methodology became more sophisticated it became entirely committed to the principles of action learning and required a full collaborative approach. But as the three programmes continued to develop, considerable problems arose in the disentanglement of various levels and forms of learning in order to do justice to its complexity. The study was able to reveal and explore the tensions which existed between these 'established' programmes and the adaptations made by the participants working on and evaluating their own learning. The findings offer important insights into the complexities of a human learning process which is critical and aware of its own changes, thus refuting the notion that action learning is merely a novel way of learning-by-doing. In the context and parameters of this piece of research, action learning is seen as a powerful, but often slow and painful process, which changes the barriers to development by questioning that which has established itself within the processual inner-world of participant-managers and the mainly procedural outer-world of their organisations, in this case the NHS.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: NHS