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The development of a framework for effective interdisciplinary behaviour change project management

Spotswood, Fiona; Warren, Stella


Fiona Spotswood


Purpose: Interdisciplinary interventions for behaviour change are increasingly being considered a standard to aim for to maximise the potential for effective change of behaviours which have complex, multi-layered and interrelated causes. Despite considerable emphasis on interdisciplinarity in the behaviour change guidance (NICE, 2007; House of Lords, 2011), there is little research into the lived experience of managers attempting interdisciplinarity in day to day intervention management. This study sought to explore these experiences, with the aim of identifying a useful best practice framework for interdisciplinary intervention management.

Methodology: Fourteen experts with extensive experience of managing or participating in interdisciplinary behaviour change projects were recruited for this project. They were recruited in pairs; each pair having worked on the same project but having come from a different background or discipline. The panel included academics as well as third, private and public sector practitioners. A range of behaviour change fields were included. Depth interviews were conducted to explore experiences of behaviour change projects and a draft ‘best practice’ framework was development from a thematic analysis of the findings. Through a series of iterations, the draft framework was amended, crosschecked and a subsequent consensus reached by the panel, from which the final version was developed.

Findings: The result of this research project is an evidenced based framework for best practice in interdisciplinary behaviour change project management. The framework includes eight ‘best practice’ points which are broken down giving guidance for successful interdisciplinary intervention management:

Implications: It has been emphasised that interdisciplinarity in behaviour change intervention planning and management is vital for the future success of work in the behaviour change field. However, it is known that interdisciplinarity is difficult to achieve and little work has been done to consider how it might be achieved in practice.

Limitations: Although the framework is based on sound in-depth evidence, it is yet untested and future research will further refine its content.

Contribution: It is hoped that this research forms the basis for future studies considering interdisciplinarity in behaviour change so the field might develop and strong positive outcomes be achieved.


Spotswood, F., & Warren, S. (2017). The development of a framework for effective interdisciplinary behaviour change project management. Social Business, 7(1), 7-26.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2017
Publication Date Mar 7, 2017
Journal Social Business
Print ISSN 2044-4087
Publisher Westburn Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 7-26
Keywords behaviour change, interdisciplinary, intervention, management
Publisher URL


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