An ethnographic observation study of the facilitator role in an implementation process

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Abstract


Background

Even though the importance of a facilitator during an implementation process is well described, the facilitator’s role is rarely problematized in relation to the organizational context in terms of power and legitimacy; themes which have recently been brought to the fore when studying change in health care organizations. Therefore, in this article, we present a qualitative study with the aim of identifying key aspects of the experience of being in a facilitator role. The data collection involved ethnographic fieldwork encompassing observations and field notes, as well as two qualitative interviews with the facilitator. The data were analysed using a phenomenological hermeneutical method in order to formulate thematic aspects of the implementation process. The study was conducted in southern Sweden between January 2013 and August 2014.
Results

One main theme, “walking a tightrope”, and four sub-themes, all of which involved balancing acts of different levels and different ways, were identified. These included: being in control, but needing to adjust; pushing for change, but forced to stand back; being accepted, but dependent; and being reasonable, but culturally sensitive.
Conclusion

Instead of listing the desirable qualities and conditions of a facilitator, this study shows that being a facilitator can be described more completely by applying the concept of role, thus allowing a more holistic process of reflection and analysis. This in turn makes it possible to move from the reactive stance of balancing to a more proactive stance of negotiating.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Article number10:630
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume10
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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