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Interlevel dynamics in clinical inquiry

David Coghlan (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



Within experiential paradigms of action research, clinical inquiry has hitherto received little attention. Clinical inquiry is the observation, eliciting and reporting of data which are available when the researcher is engaged in a helping relationship in the management of change. Its core elements are: the client wanting help and, therefore, being more likely to reveal important data; the clinical researcher being expected to intervene, allowing new data about the client system to surface; and the richness of the data allowing the clinical researcher to develop deep insights into the client system. Interlevel dynamics, as an extension of levels of analysis, are useful diagnostic and intervention constructs for the clinical researcher who is helping an organisation manage change. They can be used to point out areas of systemic dysfunction and intervention. A case example of clinical inquiry in an IT‐organisational change context illustrates the systemic nature of clinical inquiry in dealing with human, organisational and technological issues at, and between, the individual, team, interdepartmental group and organisational levels.



Coghlan, D. (2000), "Interlevel dynamics in clinical inquiry", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 190-200.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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