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Making a reality of integration: less science, more craft and graft

Helen Dickinson (Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Article publication date: 15 December 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore the study of integration and two perspectives that are found within the literature: the science of integration; and integration as craft and graft. These different perspectives are analysed for their inherent strengths and weaknesses and suggestions for the future research of integration are set out.


This paper is a commentary of the broad approaches that have been taken in studying integration.


The scientific perspective of integration has tended to dominate the literature and the industry that has developed around integration to date. However, the craft and graft perspective is one that is receiving increasing attention in recent times and which has much to offer in terms of better understanding issues of integration.


This paper is concerned with approaches to research into integration and also draws in newly emerging insights from the broader field of governance. It suggests that the author may wish to reconsider how the author research and practice integration in the context of health and social care.



Acknowledgements and thanks to Janine O’Flynn who suggested the phrase “craft and graft” of integration.


Dickinson, H. (2014), "Making a reality of integration: less science, more craft and graft", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 22 No. 5/6, pp. 189-196.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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