University of Leicester
2023WaddingtonMPHD.pdf (5.51 MB)

Too many cooks? - An investigation of the materialisation of collaboration and complexity through discursive analysis of interagency meetings that consider needs and risks associated with vulnerable children

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posted on 2023-05-11, 09:44 authored by Mark D. Waddington

Some complex problems are best addressed through the supportive involvement of more than one profession or discipline. This collective activity may help accomplish shared aims and improve things however the entanglements of joint working may also hinder these processes through increased complexity. Agencies that work together to help people, share a risk they may overlook, or fail to sufficiently address, the difficulties they are constituted to help. This risk often appears to increase in relation to the complexity both, of the situation they address, and of working together.

This project investigates these processes using discourse analysis to examine naturally occurring data assembled from talk in inter-agency meetings. Meetings are a regular feature of collaborative working and can be complex social events that require active co-ordination and facilitation. History is littered with stories of meetings that have either failed to achieve decisions or have decided something inappropriate. This thesis aims to better understand some discursive processes underpinning these phenomena.



Panos Vostanis, Catherine Steele

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Psychology and Vision Sciences

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD