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Journal cover: Journal of Health Organization and Management

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266
Previously published as: Journal of Management in Medicine

Online from: 2003

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Managing professionals: exploring the role of the hospital HR function


Document Information:
Title:Managing professionals: exploring the role of the hospital HR function
Author(s):Aoife McDermott, (Cardiff University Business School, Cardiff, UK), Mary Keating, (School of Business, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
Citation:Aoife McDermott, Mary Keating, (2011) "Managing professionals: exploring the role of the hospital HR function", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 25 Iss: 6, pp.677 - 692
Keywords:Health services, Hospitals, Human resources function, Human resourcing, Professionals, Qualitative, Staff
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14777261111178556 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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.



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