How the Cynefin Framework from Complex Adaptive Systems Theory and Action Research can inform Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Social Marketing Practice

Cheluget, Boaz ORCID: 0000-0002-3167-6893
(2019) How the Cynefin Framework from Complex Adaptive Systems Theory and Action Research can inform Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Social Marketing Practice. Doctor of Business Administration thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This study examines how social marketing for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention in Zimbabwe can be improved using the notion of ‘emergence’. The research context is that of a community exposed to VMMC promotional campaigns aimed at increasing the uptake of VMMC services. Promotional strategies were developed by contracted partners and overseen by the government formed VMMC Technical Working Group (TWG). The national strategy aimed for 80% take-up for males aged between 10 and 29 by 2015, but by 2016, only 16% of the target population had been circumcised, mainly the school-going populations. The challenges cited for missing the objectives included low levels of mobilisation in the community, motivation and absence of facilitators in all contexts (NAC, 2017; George et al., 2014; Hankins, Forsyth and Njeuhmeli, 2011). In my scholar-practitioner role, I engaged as a strategic information adviser in the organisation that advises and supports the government to identify evidence for effective strategic interventions. I engaged with the research by examining how to develop sustainable VMMC promotion and uptake using Social Marketing, informed by theoretical perspectives and practice of social marketing design. I began by looking into the multiplicity of concepts in the expansive field of promotional campaigns for social marketing. I distilled the theory into two units of analysis; the reductionist approach and complexity system. The research commences with the examination of the already enacted promotion and proceeds through action research cycles. The objectives are (1) to bring about change and make organisational VMMC promotion design sustainable - informed by 'emergence' in Complex Adaptive System and the Cynefin framework, (2) to understand and articulate how VMMC promotion is being enacted within the selected context, how it has affected belief systems and the consequences of would be recipients' actions, (3) to identify how the communication content of, and medium VMMC for, promotion can be altered to accommodate complex reactions within the context, and (4) to generate actionable knowledge that is relevant for academic and practitioner communities. I worked with a VMMC technical working group consisting of 6-19 co-researchers, through three action research cycles enacted to implement change process (above), and explore the espoused theories and theory-in-use, which underpin social marketing practice whereby implicit contextual dynamics concepts are made explicit. The proposed actionable knowledge is a reconceptualised promotional design and practice for the organisation to consider. I conclude the research with a reflection of my changed view in designing promotional campaigns.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Business Administration)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 12:54
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 22:37
DOI: 10.17638/03124439
  • Nolan, Terry
  • Shepherd, Jill