Management in hospitals – a career track and a career trap. A comparison of physicians and nurses in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Purpose – The hospital sector has expanded in Norway with reforms and a strong demand for better management. In this article, we examine: 1) how this has affected physicians and nurses in management, 2) how management roles in hospitals are changing, and 3) how these two professions are tackling their new roles. Methodology – The article presents a review of the secondary literature and a case study undertaken in the spring, 2012. Findings – In Norway, two reforms have been introduced aimed at creating stronger management positions with less professional influence. The leader has full responsibility for a particular unit, which means that the jurisdiction of managers has expanded and that management has become more time consuming. Physicians – traditionally those in charge of hospitals – are facing competition from other professions, especially nursing, which has gained representation in top management positions, particularly at middle management level. Originality/value – The originality of this paper is the comparison of the evolvement of management among physicians and nurses since the reforms. While the medical profession was critical of management to begin with, i.e. viewing management positions as a trap, it is gradually adapting to the new ideas. Physicians are facing competition from nurses, who readily adjust to the new conditions, and perceive management as a new career track.