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Project Update May and June 2012

Early summer months for the project saw business as usual on the one hand, and unexpected events to manage on the other. In that way, that old truth about ethnographies and similar qualitative engagements being inherently messy things was confirmed yet again. Given that our project is made up of seven sites and thus seven different access, ethnical clearance, and fieldwork processes though, last minute changes and context-specific adjustments are anything but unusual.

With regard to FIELDWORK, Maja began her research stay with our sixth project Chief Executive, who is the second mental health executive in our sample. Observing the similarities and differences between this and our previous, also mental health executive was particularly intriguing, as was exploring executive challenges in a trust beginning a new phase in its organisational development, one focused on business growth and ‘smarter’ ways of working. Maja completed her research stay at the trust at the end of June after 4.5 weeks of shadowing, and a very interesting interview with the Chief Executive. During June, she also finished her final week of observations and interviews with our fourth Chief Executive. Her five-week research stay with Chief Executive 5 similarly finished in early May.

Unfortunately, our earlier success with ACCESS in securing our final seventh executive unravelled unexpectedly in mid-June, which left us eager to identify a replacement as soon as possible. Happily, using our now extensive networks, we managed to meet with an executive who fit our sampling criteria within two weeks of receiving the news, and were thrilled when he agreed to come on board. Though Davide had hoped to do the fieldwork in the coming month, due to the executive’s previous obligations, this will have to be postponed until early September. Nevertheless, Davide looks forward greatly to returning to the field himself.

Finally, having now completed 6 out of 7 of our cases, we have turned to the tough job of systematically processing and ANALYSING all our data, which we will continue in the coming months via weekly summary reports and team meetings to discuss emerging analytical categories. With individual feedback sessions to our executives, where we intend to present early comparative findings, planned for the early autumn, it will be a busy summer for the KMobilis team.