Presentation on theme: "Relational Expertise: holding together inter-professional working Anne Edwards University of Oxford."— Presentation transcript:
Relational Expertise: holding together inter-professional working Anne Edwards University of Oxford
Overview The challenge: working on complex problems The relational turn : core ideas of relational expertise, common knowledge, relational agency Working with clients Working relationally both horizontally and vertically
Some of the Research Studies A national evaluation of a government initiative aimed at promoting inter-professional work Studies of Learning in and for Interagency Working ; and how schools work with other agencies to prevent social exclusion A study of knowledge mobilisation in children’s services Two studies of the work of Directors of Children's Services Working with troubled families; a heritage project with museums and community groups; negotiating new pedagogies into a South African university; working across boundaries on a national qualifications framework....
Helping Families Thrive UK Child Poverty Pilot Programme
The Questions that led to the Relational Turn in my Work What happens at the intersection of practices? How are motives aligned so that inter- professional work can be done? What kind of expertise is involved in this process?
A.N.Leont’ev and the Object of Activity The ‘object of activity’ is what is worked on in an activity, for example it might be a child’s trajectory Actors objectify what matters for them when working on an object of activity - to create the object motive The object motive is therefore seen by different actors in different ways The relationship between actor and object of activity is always mediated by what matters in a practice
Hedegaard: Motives in Practices Plane of analysis Focus What matters Society Traditions (ways of thinking) Priorities Institution Practice Values/ Motives Activity setting Activity / social situation Motivation PersonActions in activity Motives/Engag ement/ Intentions
A Cultural Historical View of Practices Practices are ‘[h]istorically accumulated, knowledge- laden, emotionally freighted and given direction by what is valued by those who inhabit them’ (Edwards 2010:7)
New forms of work–fluid and responsive horizontal inter-professional working Mulgan: a policy shift to networks and projects and away from ‘traditional structures’ – ‘horizontal structures are essential to complement vertical ones’ (2005:184) Christensen and Lægreid: horizontal working between agencies needs ‘…[c]ooperative effort and cannot be easily imposed from the top down’ so that ‘[T]he role of a successful reform agent is to operate more as a gardener than as an engineer or an architect’ (2007:1063).
Gardening Tool 1: Relational Expertise knowing who in addition to knowing what, why and how; recognising the standpoints and motives of those who inhabit other practices; and mutually aligning motives in joint work. Relational expertise is an additional form of expertise. It augments specialist expertise and makes fluid and responsive collaborations possible.
What does Relational Expertise Look Like? ‘[I]t is only a matter of adjusting what you do to other people’s strengths and needs.’ (Practitioner)
Nowotny: building links and trying to integrate ‘[E]xperts must now extend their knowledge, not simply to be an extension of what they know in their specialist field, but to consist of building links and trying to integrate what they know with what others want to, or should know and do.’ (Nowotny 2003: 155)
Gardening Tool 2: Common Knowledge - mediating relational expertise in action Middleton – shorthand in medical team work Carlile – to mobilise knowledge across units in the semi-conductor industry
Mediating What Matters with Common Knowledge transfer translation transformation ‘capacity of the common knowledge to represent the differences and dependencies now of consequence…’ (Carlile 2004: 557).
Building Common Knowledge A process of building common knowledge in talk at sites of intersecting practices i.Recognising similar long-term open goals, such as high quality education for all ii.Revealing values and motives in the natural language of talk. iii.Listening to, recognising and engaging with the values and motives of others. Asking for and giving reasons?
Revealing What Matters – the motives in practices ‘ [I] think the very first step is understanding about what the sort of issues are….Professions have very, very different ideas about need, about discipline, about responsibility, about the impact of systems..…So I think the first step is actually to get some shared understanding about effective practices and about understanding the reasons behind some of them. Understanding some of the reasons why we are seeing these sorts of issues.’ (Practitioner)
Knorr Cetina and Epistemic Cultures As inter-professional work increased, the knowledge that mattered needed to be articulated and justified and motives became visible. They had to reveal what mattered for them or, in Knorr Cetina’s terms, what it was that engaged and engrossed them as professionals.
Gardening Tool 3: Relational Agency – working together in activities (i) working with others, expanding interpretations of the problem by recognising the motives of others as they interpret the problem. (ii) aligning one’s own responses to the enhanced interpretations, with the responses being made by the other professionals as they act on the expanded understanding of the problem The expanded interpretations and alignments of motives are mediated by common knowledge
Social worker Teacher Care, family, intervention Curriculum, attainment Common knowledge Child’s trajectory Prisoners’ trajectories, Fluency in rail traffic, Common assessments, Annual calendar of supervisors’ work....
Building and Using Common Knowledge at Sites of Intersecting Practices Practices are shaped and taken forward by motives – and these motives shape how we interpret problems Common knowledge is made up of what matters for each practice (the motives) (Edwards 2010, 2011, 2012) Common knowledge mediates collaborations in the site of intersecting practices
Jan Derry: designing the space of reasons Jan Derry brings together the idea of a ‘space of reasons’ with the idea of the knowledge in the ‘rough ground’ of experience. A space of reasons is where it is expected that people will ask for and give reasons for their decisions. It connects with relational expertise by offering a set of ground rules for identifying what matters (motives) in a practice. Derry, J. (2008). Abstract rationality in education: From Vygotsky to Brandom. Studies in the Philosophy of Education,27, 49–62.
Relational Expertise in Leadership “Leaders need to be able to know their organisations well and constantly identify what needs to be realigned in order to improve performance and manage change.” (Munro, 2011: 106)
One version of the problem How do we attend to both deliberate and non- deliberate action when examining links between action and strategy in the practices associated with leadership (Tsoukas, 2010)
Another version of the problem “[e]mployees ‘ collective capacity to create organizational transformations and innovations is becoming a crucially important asset that gives new, dynamic content to notions of collaborative work and social capital.” (Engeström 2008: 199)
The Studies of Directors of Children’s Services Time of massive transformation of children’s services in order to integrate different services 1 st study: revealed successful DCS were pedagogic 2 nd study: focused on leadership for learning * 10 highly successful DCS * What did they do? * How did they take forward their change strategies? * How did they create the new organisational narrative? (Edwards and Thompson, 2013)
The DCS Study: Leading for Learning Ten DCS In this stage of the study they completed two templates about their actions is activities in practices each week for six weeks They were then interviewed based on their completed templates
Name:Date: ACTIVITY : Very briefly describe one everyday activity this week where you were aware that you were promoting learning (e.g. chairing a meeting; working with colleagues examining data). ACTIONS: What did you do during the activity i.e. what actions did you take? (e.g. eliciting colleagues ’ understanding of a complex situation; modelling how to interpret data). You can mention as many actions as you like. AIMS: What are the long term strategic goals behind how you worked with colleagues in this activity? How do your actions in this activity relate to these goals?
Name:Date: ACTIVITY : Very briefly describe one everyday activity this week where you were aware that you were promoting learning (e.g. chairing a meeting; working with colleagues examining data). Attending Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee ACTIONS: What did you do during the activity i.e. what actions did you take? (e.g. eliciting colleagues ’ understanding of a complex situation; modeling how to interpret data). You can mention as many actions as you like. Modelled skills in listening to questions, simplifying answers to ensure that Councillors (elected members of the local authority) and members of the public understand. Presented reports which set out options around difficult issues which could undermine partnership arrangements. AIMS: What are the long term strategic goals behind how you worked with colleagues in this activity? How do your actions in this activity relate to these goals? Help colleagues understand the political agenda and be able to work well with elected Councillors. Drive forward strategies that demand strategic commissioning and pooled budgets with health partners at a time of significant organisational change for the Council and Health sector. Grow and nurture political acumen and skills and confidence in working within a democratic process.
Finally “What I propose is a.....a moral conversation in which the capacity to reverse perspectives, that is, the willingness to reason from the others’ point of view, and the sensitivity to hear their voice is paramount.” (Benhabib, 1992, p. 8) Relational expertise is in addition to one’s core expertise It allows the expertise (resources) offered by others to be surfaced and used It is relevant to horizontal collaborations across practices and to the work of leaders It respects history, but is focused on going forward together