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    The problem of identity in hybrid managers: who are medical directors?

    Joffe, Megan and MacKenzie Davey, Kate (2012) The problem of identity in hybrid managers: who are medical directors? The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services 8 (3), pp. 161-174. ISSN 1747-9886.

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    Purpose – This article is drawn from doctoral research exploring the identity struggles faced by professionals who take on management and leadership roles. The research focused on the experience of medical directors – the most senior doctor-manager with board responsibility for medical affairs. Based on the fact that a medical director is a hybrid manager this research has implications for any professional who takes on a managerial or leadership role while continuing to practice their profession. Some challenges of working as a hybrid are associated with the difference in orientations between professionals and managers. While the notion of who and what a professional is has changed and new forms of accommodation have been forged the hybrid identity remains a site of potential conflict for the individual and those they work with. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experience of the hybrid identity. Design/methodology/approach – The experience of the hybrid identity is explored through social identity theory (Tajfel and Turner). Findings – The analysis reveals that the medical director role is ambiguous, that medical identity is robust and that medical management is difficult compared to clinical work. Managerial identity in general is constructed negatively and from the perspective of doctors. The importance of maintaining clinical credibility is both embraced as a resource which bolsters and maintains medical identity and so distinguishes medical directors from the taint associated with the pejorative managerial identity that doctors construct of managers. Originality/value – The implications for the selection, training and development of doctors and medical directors are raised as are those for the relationship between doctors and patients, and doctors and the organisation. Some implications identified, specifically for leadership in practice are as follows: leadership/management is challenging and difficult compared to professional work; language use is significant for how leaders are perceived; language use has implications for leader effectiveness; early exposure to leadership for professionals is important; and leadership role definition is important for consistency and role credibility.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Management
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2013 09:41
    Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:29


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