An action research study into the use of groupware in a health care setting

Takhar, APS 2003, An action research study into the use of groupware in a health care setting , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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Aim This study set out to evaluate the critical success factors for implementing a new groupware technology to improve communications and support group functioning within a group of GP practices working together commissioning healthcare. Method An iterative participatory action research methodology was adopted to evaluate the implementation of groupware within a group of Fundholding practices over a period of four years. A series of action research cycles were undertaken comprising initial observation, planning action, taking action, evaluating and then specifying learning using critical reflection. The researcher was a key participant within the Fundholders group and the narrative was based on records of group activities and analysis from a series of user interviews. Results The initial AR cycle demonstrated the need for improved communications and early implementation of groupware within the group . The groupware implementation and group structure was then further developed in a second cycle which demonstrated the interplay between the group and the technology. This second cycle saw the group self reflecting and defining its purpose and goals more overtly alongside adopting groupware as a supportive tool. The final iteration showed the group maturing and linking to more practices within a changing NHS. User interviews highlighted the perceived advantages and areas for improvement. Conclusions The study has helped to demonstrate that groupware can support group performance both by enhancing the gains inherent in effective group working and also by attempting to minimize losses from working in groups. The complex and emergent process where the provision of technology may itself influence group process and development is highlighted as well as the technology reflecting the aspirations and activities of group members. The iterative action research methodology used could be used in wider settings to help ensure the successful implementation of ICT projects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Wood, B (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:21

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