Opportunity seized or missed? A case study of leadership and organizational change in the creation of a Care Trust

Helen Dickinson, Edward Peck, Deborah Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an action research study which focused on an exploration of the aspirations for and initial achievements of Stratham Mental Health NHS and Social Care Trust. Local leaders perceived that Stratham had a good history of health and social care partnership working and as such, adopted an integrationist view of culture to help shape the context of the new structural form. In doing so, consistency remained a key message to staff throughout this organizational transition and the change did not appear to cause the distraction to core business which the literature suggests it would do so. However, this continuity may have come at a cost, at least initially. In the process of formalizing the previous partnership into a Care Trust, Stratham may not have produced all the beneficial effects of synergy which are usually (albeit eventually) associated with mergers in the private sector. Certainly, local actors could see opportunities that had been missed. By focusing on the structural manifestation of the relationship, the opportunities to broaden informal horizontal linkages may have been underexploited. The study of Stratham serves to confirm that the integrationist conception of culture is limited and that the differentiation of professional groupings and the ambiguity of individual experience will always make contested the meanings that are attributed to organizational change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-513
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


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