Faces of Integration

Dr. Paul Williams and Helen Sullivan
Igitur Publishing and Archiving, 2009

Theme: Two central themes permeate this paper—the interplay between structure and agency in integration processes and the extent to which this is mediated through sensemaking by individual actors. Case study: The empirical base for the paper is provided by case study research from Wales which draws on examples of different types of integration in health and social care. The individual case studies highlight different interpretations of integration set against a background of the resources involved, processes employed and outcomes achieved. Discussion: A wide-ranging discussion exposes the complex interplay and dynamics between structural factors and the manner in which they enable or constrain integration, and individual actors realising their potential agency through leadership, professionalism and boundary spanning to influence outcomes. The importance of structure and agency complementing each other to determine effective integration is emphasised, together with the scope that is available for interpretation and meaning by individual actors within the contested discourse of integration.

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