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Developing initial middle range theories in realist evaluation: A case of an organisational intervention

Roodbari, H., Nielsen, K., Axtell, C., Peters, S.E., Sorensen, G. (2021) Developing initial middle range theories in realist evaluation: A case of an organisational intervention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (16). Article Number 8360. ISSN 1660-4601. (doi:10.3390/ijerph18168360) (KAR id:96343)


(1) Background: Realist evaluation is a promising approach for evaluating organisational interventions. Crucial to realist evaluation is the development and testing of middle range theories (MRTs). MRTs are programme theories that outline how the intervention mechanisms work in a specific context to bring about certain outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, no organisational intervention study has yet developed initial MRTs. This study aimed to develop initial MRTs based on qualitative evidence from the development phase of an organisational intervention in a large multi-national organisation, the US food service industry. (2) Methods: Data were collected through 20 semi-structured interviews with the organisation′ s managers, five focus groups with a total of 30 employees, and five worksite observations. Template analysis was used to analyse data. (3) Results: Four initial MRTs were developed based on four mechanisms of participation, leadership commitment, communication, and tailoring the intervention to fit the organisational context to formulate ‘what may work for whom in which circumstances?’ in organisational interventions; (4) Conclusions: Our findings provide insights into ‘how’ and ‘which’ initial MRTs can be developed in organisational interventions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/ijerph18168360
Uncontrolled keywords: food industry; knowledge based system; leadership; organizational framework; service sector; theoretical study, article; catering service; employee; human; intervention study; leadership; manager; semi structured interview; theoretical study; information processing; interpersonal communication; knowledge; leadership; organization, United States, Communication; Focus Groups; Knowledge; Leadership; Organizations
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Depositing User: Hamid Roodbari
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 08:13 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 09:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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