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Methods@Manchester

Policy document analysis

Presented by Jonathan Hammond and Imelda McDermott.

The session introduced some of the processes and principles relevant to the analysis of policy documents. This approach, informed by discourse analysis, can be useful both as a means of framing organisational research and in order to interrogate issues in the field. It provides opportunities for exploring what is taken for granted and unspoken.

By comparing messages in policy documents with situated practices in local contexts it is possible to build up a rich picture of organisational life and the multiple “realities” it comprises. Applied examples of how documentary analysis has been used in the study of health policy and organisations will be provided. Jon used examples from his PhD research in a CCG to show the usefulness of this approach.