Taking advantage of dissonance: a CPD framework

Simpson, Jennifer Evyonne; Bardsley, Janet; Haider, Sharif; Bayley, Kenneth; Brown, Gill; Harrington-Vail, Amanda and Dale-Emberton, Ann (2017). Taking advantage of dissonance: a CPD framework. Journal of Children's Services, 12(1) pp. 1–15.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-11-2016-0020


Purpose: To communicate the findings of an empirical research project based on a real world problem that involved the development of a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) framework for a children’s integrated service workforce. In addition, to give attention to the notion that children’s integrated services have not necessarily been viewed from the perspective of conflict management and that this has meant ensuing conflicts that characterise such organisations are more often than not ignored.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A case study approach involving a mixed methodology consisting of semi-structured interviews for senior managers and service leads; a quantitative survey for frontline practitioners and focus groups for service users, carers and children.

Findings: Rather than the service being fully integrated, services were aligned, and this was reflected in the conflict between professional cultures, reinforcing an ‘us and them’ culture. This culture had seemingly permeated all aspects of the organisation including the senior management team. It was also noted that certain systems and processes, as well as bureaucracy, within the service were seen as hindering integrated working and was in effect a catalyst for conflict.

Originality/Value: Through the application of conflict management theory it will be illustrated how conflict could be used to effectively steer children integrated services towards creativity and productivity through an organisational wide framework that not only embraces dissonance, but also promotes a learning environment that takes advantage of such dissonance to incorporate a hybrid of professional practice and expertise.

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