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|Title:||Hybrid management, organizational configuration, and medical professionalism: evidence from the establishment of a clinical directorate in Portugal|
Denis, J. L.
Divisionalized professional bureaucracy
|Abstract:||Background: The need of improving the governance of healthcare services has brought health professionals into management positions. However, both the processes and outcomes of this policy change highlight differences among the European countries. This article provides in-depth evidence that neither quantitative data nor cross-country comparisons have been able to provide regarding the influence of hybrids in the functioning of hospital organizations and impact on clinicians' autonomy and exposure to hybridization. Methods: The study was designed to witness the process of institutional change from the inside and while that process was underway. It reports a case study carried out in a public hospital in Portugal when the establishment of a clinical directorate was being negotiated. Data collection comprises semi-structured interviews with general managers and surgeons complemented with observations. Results: The clinical directorate under study illustrates a divisionalized professional bureaucracy model that combines features of professional bureaucracies and divisionalized forms. The hybrid manager is key to understand the extent to which practising clinicians are more accountable and to whom given that managerial tools of control have not been strengthened, and trust-based relations allow them to keep professional autonomy untouched. In sum, clinicians are allowed to profit from their activity and to perform autonomously from the hospital's board of directors. The advantageous conditions enjoyed by the clinical directorate intensify internal re-stratification in medicine, thus suggesting forms of divisionalized medical professionalism grounded in organizational dynamics. Conclusion: It is discussed the extent to which policy change to the governance of health organizations regarding the relationship between medicine and management is subject to specific constraints at the workplace level, thus conditioning the expected outcomes of policy setting. The study also highlights the role of hybrid managers in determining the extent to which practising professionals are more accountable to managerial criteria. The overall conclusion is that although medical and managerial values link to each other, clinicians reconfigure managerial criteria according to specific interests. Ultimately, medical autonomy and authority may be reinforced in organizational settings subject to NPM-driven reforms.|
|Appears in Collections:||CIES-RI - Artigos em revista científica internacional com arbitragem científica|
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