Thesis

173 General discussion mutual understanding of possible resistance teaches us. Truly considering, respecting, and trying to understand all perspectives should not only be fostered during MCD but also when being confronted with resistance when implementing MCD. The presence of resistance regarding MCD at DCIA Our pilot with MCD at DCIA in 2017, as mentioned in Chapter 1, did show four types of reasons for participants’ resistance which played a role during the start with MCD at DCIA. These were: concerns about broader organizational changes, the wish for more focus on actions in practice than on reflection, unfamiliarity with ethics and moral dilemmas, and the experienced vulnerability to open up (Schaap, 2019). The lessons learned from our pilot, including the resistance therein, were considered in our main study. The first category of resistance – ‘concerns about broader organizational changes’ – from our pilot sometimes influenced the general learning attitude of the staff (Schaap, 2019). This tendency was also seen in our main study. Organizational circumstances during the implementation of MCD sometimes led to a lack of motivation among participants to adopt an active, (self)critical, and open attitude. Organizational turbulence made a part of the prison staff experience ‘change fatigue’, as was stated before by Paanakker (2020, p. 152). During our research, e.g., we noticed many changes in staff in teams due to new staff members or relocations of prison staff (mostly between teams, but sometimes between locations), and high work pressures in some teams. Such circumstances negatively influenced MCD conditions, e.g., the planning of sessions. To reach our aim of 10 MCD sessions, some teams had to have multiple sessions in a short period, which is undesirable when it does not match the staff’s wishes; this therefore sometimes generated frustrations. Chapter 2 showed how prison staff often expressed dilemmas based on frustrations, e.g., about the influence of work pressure. Some MCD participants stated that MCD was not high on their list of priorities: ‘we have other important things to do.’ Literature also describes how resistance – generally speaking – can be seen if staff feel an intervention ‘might not be worth the time, effort and attention’ (Schermerhorn et al., 2002, p. 460). However, Chapter 3 showed that most participants had a constructive attitude during MCD, and Chapter 6 showed how – among other things – MCD could give participants a feeling of ‘acknowledgment’ regarding frustrations and issues. As one facilitator mentioned, feeling acknowledged helped participants move from experienced resistance toward fruitful MCD sessions. 7

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