Facilitating organisational learning in healthcare settings through an Activity Theory approach

Date:                    Saturday 24th August

Half Day:              0930-1230

Level:                    Intermediate/Advanced


  1. Anne-Marie Reid, University of Leeds, UK
  2. Clare Morris, QMUL, UK
  3. Alison Ledger, University of Leeds, UK

Summary of theme and why it is important:  The workshop will introduce activity theory as the basis for an interventionist research approach to analyse and improve healthcare practice. Activity theory acknowledges that healthcare practice is dependent on distributed professional expertise and ongoing dynamic interchange.  The ‘Change Laboratory’ approach, based on activity theory, has been successfully adopted as a tool which recognises this complexity in tackling emerging problems in healthcare practices.

Who should participate in the Pre-Conference Workshop?  Healthcare professionals and researchers who have a basic knowledge of activity theory and wish to explore the Change Laboratory as an interventionist research strategy.  Workshop presenters will illustrate the approach using examples from their own research practices which span medical schools, primary care and hospital settings.  Participants will engage in a structured activity to apply the Change Laboratory approach to their own practice problems.  

What will they gain from participating?  The focus will be on exploring the conceptual and methodological tools in the activity theory framework, and the challenges and opportunities in adopting the approach as a creative source of change and innovation. The Change Laboratory is a purposeful research intervention where groups of co-workers examine ways of transforming their established working practices, often in circumstances where it is clear that different ways of working are an imperative.
Participants will have the opportunity to consider how the activity theory framework and interventionist approach may contribute to greater understanding of their own practice situations, and the potential for new developments and collaboration with others.

Cost: Euros 90 (includes coffee)

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-conference Workshop participants must also register for AMEE 2019 and pay the conference fee.


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