Writer’s block

You’ll see I haven’t been blogging much recently.  It’s not that I haven’t been doing any thinking or reading – just that none of it is coherent enough to rally together into a blog post.  It’s a little weird not having the rigour of an academic course to say – read this, think about it, reflect it back in assignments – at least the academic courses gave me a route, a journey to follow, and a timetable.  Sure I did little forays every now and again – up interesting cul de sacs and detours, but the main journey was charted for me and I could see what it was to make progress. Continue reading

A trail of crumbs… ‘doing’ research

Since last November, I have carried out endless searches for articles that resonate with my desire to practice research in a manner consistent with developing my systems practice.  Whether it about being a systemic research practitioner or a research-oriented systems practictioner, I don’t think it really matters.  My main driver was that T847 was part of my ‘trajectory’ of developing my systems practice – and I wanted that to be about the practice/praxis of my research, not just the content/topic.

Every so often, I found a ‘gem’ – the needle in the haystack that helped distill things.  Sometimes this was the product of my own labours, other times a gift from Arwen, another student carrying out similiar inquiries to myself.  It may be that I was not a ‘good’ searcher, but it seems those hits were quite few and far between.

So I thought I would pull together all the ‘gems’ in one place so that I can remind myself what it was about them.  This post may also offer others on a similiar journey to me, to reduce their own searching hours by offering a platform to start from. Continue reading

So ‘absent competence’ or ‘constrained capability’?

After all those weeks of writing very academically about my research topic, I’m finding it hard to explain it all ‘in lay terms’ – removing all the public health speak; Systems speak; and, research speak.  I want to write a briefing note to share the findings – not least with the participants – but short of copying and pasting the relevant bits into a new document I am stuck as to how to make it readable, understandable and engaging.  How do I ‘sell’ the ideas that I have developed – I think they are really helpful ideas, but they are only helpful if you realise the problem that they help with exists in the first place!

So I thought I would try and do it bloggy style here to break the academic mode of writing – in the hope that I can subsequently write something that fits in the middle. Continue reading

Types of situation, types of partnership, types of thinking

Okay, after all my talk of ‘deductive’ analysis – the first thing I have ‘learned’ from my data – that emerged out of it, was something that I didn’t think to look for at all!!  Now it has, I feel the need to get it down on paper – and of course immediately, I have connected it up with some literature I have read.

As the main ‘helping agenda’ of the work I am doing involves appreciating partnership practices, the ‘Discovery’ interviews ask people to talk about a time when they had a great experience of partnership working.  We emphasised that this had to be an experience that they thought was great at the time – regardless of whether it was an ‘official’ success story.  People could answer from anytime in their history – not necessarily recently.

So I found myself noticing a bit of a pattern in the type of situations people were ‘engaging’ with when they had their ‘great experience’. Continue reading

Sensitising concepts

It feels as if Arwen and I are having a concept tennis match at the moment.  I write a blog gathering together disparate reading, which prompts Arwen to read, she summarises her reading in a blog, which them prompts further reading by myself, which I summarise in comment or a blog.  And so it goes back and forth, but the concepts are getting better, more useful to what we want.  And Arwen has now found what I currently think of as the ‘holy grail’ – the concept of a sensitising concept! Continue reading

My Research as an ‘event’ in a longer stream of inquiry

My last post set me off on a stream of thought in relation to what I am doing in my research – is it inductive? is it deductive? is it emic? is it etic?  I’ve started to realise that it is best to think of these pairs in terms of dualities, rather than dualisms. Through the research, there is an interplay.  But also I realised that my Research Project (with a big R and big P) does not stand alone – it is located in a wider stream of inquiry and it’s location in time impacts on what it is and how I relate to it. Continue reading