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

Document Information:
Title:A new workforce in the making?: A case study of strategic human resource management in a whole-system change effort in healthcare
Author(s):Fraser Macfarlane, (School of Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK), Trish Greenhalgh, (University College London, London, UK), Charlotte Humphrey, (King's College London, London, UK), Jane Hughes, (King's College London, London, UK), Ceri Butler, (University College London, London, UK), Ray Pawson, (University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Citation:Fraser Macfarlane, Trish Greenhalgh, Charlotte Humphrey, Jane Hughes, Ceri Butler, Ray Pawson, (2011) "A new workforce in the making?: A case study of strategic human resource management in a whole-system change effort in healthcare", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 25 Iss: 1, pp.55 - 72
Keywords:Change management, Health services, Human resource management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14777261111116824 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:In carrying out the independent evaluation of the Modernisation Initiative, the authors received support and co-operation from a wide variety of sources, and many people generously gave their time to discuss ideas and experiences. The authors are grateful to the staff and service users involved in the program; stakeholders in the four Trusts; and Trustees and officers of the Charity and others who contributed to the Evaluation Advisory Group. They also thank Petra Boynton and Patricia Connell who were part of the original academic team undertaking the MI evaluation. In particular they would like to thank Fran Woodard for her help with the evaluation and valuable feedback on this paper. The Modernisation Initiative and the independent evaluation were funded by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the MI staff, its partner Trusts, or the Charity.

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.

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