Integration: work still in progress

Gerald Wistow, Helen Dickinson (2012)

Please note: this is a legacy publication from CPEC (formely PSSRU at LSE).

Journal of Health Organization and Management 26 6 676-684

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to set the context for this special issue and provide an introduction to the individual contributions. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a literature survey and analysis. Findings – Integration remains both a central goal and a field of limited but possibly developing achievement. Multiple meanings and usages are themselves sources of confusion and contestability that contribute to poor performance, as does an emphasis on process over outcome. This special issue provides an opportunity for the limitations and possibilities of integration to be explored from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and international settings. Individual papers draw on a wide and innovatory range of theoretical approaches in addressing reasons for limited progress and opportunities for taking it further. Nonetheless, how far we have a good fit between this area of study and the tools we use for its evaluation remains an issue for concern and further exploration. Research limitations/implications – This editorial is not a systematic review, though it draws on findings from a number of such reviews. Practical implications – The various contributions all have practical implications for the strategies to develop integration and its evaluation. Originality/value – The special issue as a whole was designed to encourage fresh perspectives and approaches to be brought to bear on understanding, conducting and evaluating integration. This editorial introduces each of these themes.