Context in Action and How to Study It: Illustrations from Health Care

ISBN : 9780198805304

Ninna Meier; Sue Dopson
272 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2019
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Context is a central concept in organization and management studies, yet it is often used in a generalized, unspecific manner. This book offers an interactionist view on context as a dynamic, relational, and socially enacted phenomenon. It explores context in action and the theoretical, methodological, and analytical consequences of this approach through a collection of reflections and research experiences from the dynamic field of health care.

In the opening chapters, the editors present their framework for studying context in action and outline three main approaches, centered on the following questions: What constitutes context for a phenomenon or an event? How do actors understand, experience, and engage with context? How do contexts change and what is the role of actors in such processes? Context and action are then explored through a range of topics such as enactment and organizational change, policy implementation, executive work, strategic change, materiality, technology, patients and relatives' perspectives, integrated care, quality improvement, and health care support work.

Relevant to both management researchers and practitioners, this volume provides a definition of context as theoretical construct based on interactionist and process based perspectives, and a practical framework for studying context in action which the reader can use in their own work.


1 Ninna Meier and Sue Dopson: Foregrounding Context in Action
2 Ninna Meier and Sue Dopson: Theoretical Lenses on Context
3 Ninna Meier and Sue Dopson: Methodological Challenges in Studying Context in Action
CONTEXT: What Constitutes the Context of a Situation/Event or Phenomenon?
4 Louise Fitzgerald: Enacted Context
5 David Chambers: Context of Health Policies and the Impact on Implementation of Health Care and Health Interventions
6 Kjell Tryggestad, Chris Harty, and Peter Holm Jacobsen: Bringing the Building Back In: Implications for Studying Organizations
ACTORS: How Do Actors Understand, Experience, and Engage With Context?
7 Maja Korica and Davide Nicolini: Tracing Context as Relational, Discursive Accomplishment: Analytical Lessons from a Shadowing-Based Study of Health Care Chief Executives
8 Helle Sofie Wentzer: Technology in Context - Exploring Vulnerability in Surgery
9 Louise Locock, Glenn Robert, and Ninna Meier: Patients, Families, and Care Settings
10 Ninna Meier: Place Matters in Context Analysis: Understanding Patients' Experiences of Context
11 Eleanor Murray: How Researchers Understand, Construct and Bound Context: Liminality and the Integration Space
CHANGE: How Do Contexts Change and What Is the Role of Actors in Such Processes?
12 Ewan Ferlie: Analysing Context in Health Care Organizations: Some Reflections on Past Work and Contemporary Research Challenges
13 Ian Kessler: Context and Work Organization in an Acute Health Care Setting
14 Carole A. Estabrooks and Stephanie Chamberlain: How Context Shapes the Experience of Staff and Residents in Residential Long-Term Care Settings
15 Ninna Meier and Sue Dopson: Context in Action: A Research Agenda

About the author: 

Ninna Meier is Associate Professor in Organizational Sociology at Aalbord University. She researches organization, leadership, and management of healthcare work with qualitative methods, and is currently working on a multi-level process study of integrative conditions and mechanisms in five cross-sectoral collaboration processes concerning citizens, whose needs call for services across hospital, GP, and municipality services. She is also a co-founder of The Open Writing Community, where she experiments with and writes about the role of academic writing in researcher-practitioner collaborations and impact beyond academia.; Sue Dopson is The Rhodes Trust Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Said Business School and Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. Her research centres on transformational change and knowledge exchange in the public and healthcare sectors. She has written and edited many major works on this topic and her research has informed and influenced government bodies such as the Department of Health and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in their thinking on areas such as the dissemination of clinical evidence into practice, medical leadership, and the role of the support worker in the NHS. She formerly worked as a personnel manager in the NHS before pursuing a research and academic career, and currently represents the University of Oxford as Non-Executive Director of the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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