Qualitative Health Research Network


Professor Glenn Robert

Title: From 'bodies on the pavement' to the participatory Zeitgeist: shaping change in healthcare organisations


Glenn Robert

My research at King's College London draws on the fields of organisational studies and organisational sociology. It incorporates the study of innovations in the organisation and delivery of health care services as well as quality improvement interventions. Over the last 25 years of conducting research in the healthcare sector I have co-authored/edited five books. One of these was based on the findings from a cross-cultural ethnographic study - with RAND in the United States - of high performing health care systems in America and Europe. A subsequent study with partners in five European countries explored the relationships between the organisational and cultural characteristics of hospitals and how these impact upon clinical effectiveness, patient safety and patient experience. Previous quality improvement research includes the first evaluations in the English National Health Service (NHS) of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 'Breakthrough' Collaborative method, as well as exploring new perspectives on large-scale change by testing the value of bringing social movement thinking to healthcare quality improvement efforts. My current research interests include collaborating with service designers to identify and test any creative and participatory methods that might have value in addressing some of the challenges facing the NHS. Through a part-time Chair at Jönköping University, Sweden I am also collaborating on a long-term research programme which is seeking to explore, enhance and measure the value of co-production for improving the health and social care of citizens.