Micro practices of coordination based on complex adaptive systems: user needs and strategies for coordinating public health in Denmark

Morten Deleuran Terkildsen; Inge Wittrup; Viola Burau
INTRODUCTION: Many highly formalised approaches to coordination poorly fit public health and recent studies call for coordination based on complex adaptive systems. Our contribution is two-fold. Empirically, we focus on public health, and theoretically we build on the patient perspective and treat coordination as a process of contingent, two-level negotiations of user needs. THEORY AND METHODS: The paper draws on the concept of user needs-based coordination and sees coordination as a process, whereby needs emerging from the life world of the user are made amenable to the health system through negotiations. The analysis is based on an explorative case study of a health promotion initiative in Denmark. It adopts an anthropological qualitative approach and uses a range of qualitative data. RESULTS: The analysis identifies four strategies of coordination: the coordinator focusing on the individual user or on relations with other professionals; and the manager coaching the coordinator or providing structural support. Crucially, the coordination strategies by management remain weak as they do not directly relate to specific user needs. DISCUSSION: In process of bottom-up negotiations user needs become blurred and this is especially a challenge for management. The study therefore calls for an increased focus on the level nature of negotiations to bridge the gap that currently weakens coordination strategies by management.

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Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2015
Udgiver International Journal of Integrated Care


Morten D. Terkildsen

Morten D. Terkildsen

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Morten D. Terkildsen Viola Burau