This case describes the Diary-in-Group method (personal diary notations combined with group sessions) as used in a participative and action-oriented project which intended to contribute to new practice-based knowledge on what it means to be a first-level manager in a Swedish municipal social care administration, and to the learning and development of the participating managers. The project's methodological framework derived from personal construct psychology and phenomenology. The method generated a large amount of data which were analysed using a qualitative descriptive phenomenological approach. The analyses aimed to give voice to the impromptu views and opinions of the managers, thereby contributing to an understanding of the complexity of the managers' organisation and work situation as well as of how this was reflected in their experiences in which various aspects collided. The results raised new questions about municipal managers' ability to handle ideals and requirements which are difficult to consolidate, particularly in times or resource scarcity. In this case, the Diary-in-Group method and its function, and the quality and relevance of the results, are discussed in relation to the project aims.
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