Participatory research, a concept developed in the Third World, has been increasingly applied to community and health research in developed countries. However, little is known about attitudes to the participatory process in the context of workplace research, especially that carried out in health care settings. In this qualitative study, employees participating in a quality of work-life (QWL) project at a Canadian cancer centre were asked about their perceptions of the participatory research process. Using a phenomenological approach, the author interviewed 12 employees. The following themes emerged from the analysis of interview data: (1) The role of management and senior management was viewed as being important but employees were uncomfortable with the presence of management at meetings; (2) The desired composition of the committee was more complex than ensuring representation from workers and there may have been a natural process by which this composition was attained; (3) Participatory research without action was unacceptable; and (4) Full participation in all aspects of the project was difficult to achieve. These findings have important implications because they challenge some existing notions in the literature about participatory research. Recommendations regarding trust issues, membership recruitment, and the role of members in the participatory process are outlined.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 11, 2005
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