Utveckling av samverkan: ett deltagarorienterat aktionsforskningsprojekt inom hälso- och sjukvård

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Objective: The general scientific objective of this thesis is to reach a greater understanding of processes of collaboration.

Design and methods: The study was conducted through participatory action research within the health services of Hässleholm, Sweden. The people involved, who were participants of different activities related to health care, aimed at developing their collaboration in a collective attempt to facilitate the development of an integrated local health care. Based on local circumstances and perspectives, the research has generated knowledge on which future decisions on how to implement practical changes can be made. A combination of various methods was used to generate empirical material, where the main method was participant observation with dialogue. In addition, interviews and document reviews were conducted as well as the use of collaborative inquiry, which is a specific method within participatory action research. The study was conducted according to a hermeneutic approach and interpretations were supported by various theoretical perspectives and models. Kurt Lewin's field theory constituted a general theoretical frame of reference for the study.

Results: By describing and interpreting the course of events that were presumed to have an impact on the development of collaboration, a greater understanding of the observed collaboration process was achieved. The process was described in terms of vertical as well as horizontal integration within and between organisations. This description included components that were present in work processes as well as social processes. The observed collaboration process was divided into sub-processes, each of them containing a certain type of activity that was performed in support of the development of collaboration. Strategies for development of collaboration were identified and illustrated by different models: the linear hierarchical model and the dynamic model. The latter was developed through action research.

Conclusions: At an initial stage, collaboration among the participants in the field was supported by a linear hierarchical model, which constitutes a mind map where collaboration is developed in a linear hierarchical process. Politicians make decisions, managers make plans and professionals implement activities. The model emanates from a consensus theoretical perspective, where conflicts are regarded as disruptive elements. In this case, participants from various domains and organisations avoided the different conceptual worlds of one another, which led to impediments in the developments of the collaboration process. The action research made it possible to intervene in the process by arranging communication arenas with and for participants from the different domains and organisations. Thus, collaboration came to evolve from a dynamic model, which includes the assumption that collaboration processes are dynamic and is based on a conflict theoretical perspective, where conflicts are regarded as natural aspects of the processes.

Original languageSwedish
  • Axelsson, Runo, Supervisor, External person
  • Olsson, Eric, Supervisor
  • Olsson, Sven-Erik, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)


  • collaboration
  • communication arenas
  • conflict
  • organisation
  • participant oriented action research
  • processes

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