Using Positive Organizational Scholarship in Healthcare and Video Reflexive Ethnography to Examine Positive Deviance to New Public Management in Healthcare

Qual Health Res. 2018 Jul;28(8):1203-1216. doi: 10.1177/1049732318759492. Epub 2018 Feb 24.


Following increased interest in and use of new public management (NPM), greater regulation has been introduced into many Western health systems. Yet, the effects have revealed the negative aspects of NPM. Positive organizational scholars have argued that adversity can give rise to positive deviance. Yet as a form of noncompliance, positive deviance can be difficult to examine. This methodological article demonstrates how the combined methodologies of positive organizational scholarship in healthcare (POSH) and video reflexive ethnography (VRE) can help examine positive deviance. This study illustrates the methodological utility of POSH VRE to respectfully study the impact of NPM-inspired expectations on public health clinicians, positively reframe how clinicians constructively respond to and manage obstruction, and reveal the unintended effects of NPM-inspired expectations. As a participatory methodology, POSH VRE can promote trust between researchers and clinicians, thereby unveiling instances of positive deviance to NPM in healthcare.

Keywords: Australia; administration; community and public health; interprofessional; palliative care; positive organizational scholarship in healthcare (POSH); qualitative; research design; video reflexive ethnography (VRE).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Public Health Administration*
  • Research Design*
  • Videotape Recording*