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'Making up' managers: the case of NHS nurses

Bolton SC (2005) 'Making up' managers: the case of NHS nurses. Work, Employment and Society, 19 (1), pp. 5-23.

The incorporation of health professionals into the management of the British National Health Service (NHS) is a distinctive strategy ultimately aimed at involving senior nurses and doctors through normative devices. Rather than attempting to directly manage professionals, which has proved to be enduringly problematic, it is deemed more effective to 'recreate' professionals as managers. Data collected from nurses who are middle managers, i.e. ward and unit managers, indicate a mixed response to such endeavours. Drawing on survey and interview data, and using Goffman's concept of role analysis as an analytical framework, it can be seen how senior nurses enthusiastically embrace many aspects of the management role but remain suspicious of, and distance themselves from, a management philosophy that emphasizes entrepreneurial activity.

modern matron; new public sector management; nurses; public sector

Work, Employment and Society: Volume 19, Issue 1

Author(s)Bolton, Sharon C
Publication date31/03/2005
PublisherSAGE Publications for the British Sociological Association
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