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Title: Managing change in the Department of Health
Author: Griffiths, Ieuan Wynn
ISNI:       0000 0001 3520 2305
Awarding Body: University of Glamorgan
Current Institution: University of South Wales
Date of Award: 2001
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The methodology adopted was a synthesis of participatory action research (PAR) as proposed by Park (1999) and co-operative inquiry as proposed by Reason (1999), with the staff actively involved from the early stages both within my own Directorate and, to a lesser extent, the wider SWRO. The first stages of the data gathering and research (September 1996 to March 1999) were focused within the SWRO and, in particular, within the Finance and Information Directorate for which I was responsible. The Directorate comprised around 20 staff, mainly professionally qualified, out of a total 125 staff for the SWRO. A number of methods were employed for organisational data gathering as the organisation changed and developed. These included a repeated staff questionnaire based survey of staff attitudes and organisational aspects; interviews (internal and external); workshops and detailed discussions with staff, critical friends and my learning set. Material was also gathered from various other internal initiatives such as Investors in People and a number of reviews within the wider DH as the eight Regional Offices became absorbed into the larger organisation. In terms of gathering data on my own management practice, I employed a similar variety of approaches - personality questionnaires completed on me by staff, 360 degree feedback, interviews (internal and external), maintenance of a journal and input from the formal appraisal cycles. A majority of the methods themselves were familiar from ten years as a management consultant, although there was some difference of emphasis in application. Some quantitative techniques were used to handle data gathered from the questionnaires and personality profiles, but the objective of these was to isolate areas of interest to inform and focus the detailed interviews and developmental work. The basic approach remained qualitative. In the main, the Glaser & Strauss (1979) Grounded Theory approach was used to develop and handle the data - frequently recycling the results into the next set of workshops and discussions. Many discussions took place with the three critical friends within the SWRO (these were drawn from outside my Directorate): two were researching for MAs and one for an MBA in related areas, so their input was all the more valuable. Validation of the findings in respect of the organisation, in particular, was undertaken through the in-depth interviews with external stakeholders and a comparison with other review findings (internal literature). The whole range of specific developmental interventions with the staff included workshops, training courses, linkage with Personal Development Plans and appraisals - integrated into the Directorate business planning process. These actions were very much in line with the PAR approach in which the staff were willing and aware participants in the development work. Concepts of learning, 'Learning Organisations' and management were explored, with a balance struck between 'programmed knowledge' and 'questioning insight' development throughout the research period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available