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J Health Organ Manag. 2011;25(1):55-72.

A new workforce in the making? A case study of strategic human resource management in a whole-system change effort in healthcare.

Author information

  • 1School of Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. f.macfarlane@surrey.ac.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This paper seeks to describe the exploration of human resource issues in one large-scale program of innovation in healthcare. It is informed by established theories of management in the workplace and a multi-level model of diffusion of innovations.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:

A realist approach was used based on interviews, ethnographic observation and documentary analysis.

FINDINGS:

Five main approaches ("theories of change") were adopted to develop and support the workforce: recruiting staff with skills in service transformation; redesigning roles and creating new roles; enhancing workforce planning; linking staff development to service needs; creating opportunities for shared learning and knowledge exchange. Each had differing levels of success.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The paper includes HR implications for the modernisation of a complex service organisation.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE:

This is the first time a realist evaluation of a complex health modernisation initiative has been undertaken.

PMID:
21542462
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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