Doctors as Managers: Investors and Reluctants In A Dual Role



Forbes T, Hallier J & Kelly L (2004) Doctors as Managers: Investors and Reluctants In A Dual Role. Health Services Management Research, 17 (3), pp. 167-176.

Government reform of the NHS in the UK has sought to increase the involvement of doctors (clinicians) in hospital management. Using frameworks from the psychological contract and organisational misbehaviour literatures, this paper examines the processes involved when clinicians assume management roles. This literature seeks to explain breaches to expectations regarding prior agreements with management and subsequent actions of 'getting even' as a result of breaches to the employment relationship. A qualitative methodology using interviews was undertaken, which identified two distinct groups of clinician-manager. Investors actively pursued a management opportunity as an alternative to clinical medicine, whilst reluctants tended to assume a management role to protect particular specialities from outside influence or from those they thought would be inappropriate clinician-managers. Investors and reluctants often had very little prior experience of management and managers and had problems reconciling their dual clinician-management role. Poor relationships with hospital managers who often had no understanding of their dual responsibilities led to tensions and conflict, which questions continued developments in this important area of UK health policy. Suggestions for improving this process are outlined.

Health Services Management Research: Volume 17, Issue 3

Publication date31/08/2004
PublisherRoyal Society of Medicine

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Dr Tom Forbes

Dr Tom Forbes

Senior Lecturer, Management, Work and Organisation