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J Health Organ Manag. 2011;25(6):677-92.

Managing professionals: exploring the role of the hospital HR function.

Author information

1
Cardiff University Business School, Cardiff, UK. mcdermotta@cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of the HR function in the management of professional and non-professional staff in the acute hospital sector.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:

A qualitative approach was adopted. Empirical data from three hospital case studies is utilised to explore the role of the hospital HR function. Cases were compiled from 45 interviews, observation and secondary data analysis.

FINDINGS:

The paper finds that in two of the three cases the human resource (HR) function predominantly provides services to non-professional workforce groups. However, the effective and strategic management of professionals is undertaken in the third case, without a professional HR function.

RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS:

The findings of this paper require some caution in extrapolation, being based on research in one national context. The authors suggest the delivery of service as a useful lens to explore the enacted practice of HRM in hospitals.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The paper draws attention to a significant deficit in the role of the HR function in managing core professional staff.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE:

The paper applies an existing conceptual framework to explore the role of the HR function in hospitals. It identifies a significant deficit in the management of core professional staff. On this basis the paper suggests alternative research methodologies to investigate the management of all hospital staff.

PMID:
22256665
DOI:
10.1108/14777261111178556
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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