[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this article, we describe an action research study to foster an Internet-based work group as part of a two-year community health research training program in Alberta, Canada. The objectives of our study were to incorporate Internet-based technology into the program, establish a distributed work group over time, and reflect on the lessons learned. The participants represented seventeen health regions. There were thirty-five instructors and expert resource persons (varied over time), two training coordinators, four support staff, a program coordinator, two action researchers, and two independent consultants. The data collected included program documents, phone interviews, online surveys, meeting notes, online discussions, computer usage log, site visits, keystroke entry logs, help desk logs, and program evaluation reports. Content analysis was conducted with NUD*IST to identify concepts and themes from the data. Our findings suggest that role clarification, facilitative support, network linkages, and workplace learning are important aspects of fostering Internet-based work groups in a health setting, where members strive to establish themselves, seek meaning in their work, support each other, and add value to their organizations.
Journal of healthcare information management: JHIM 02/2001; 15(3):207-21.