Organizational Support Key – ScienceDaily


If hospital doctors around the world often struggle to become health centaurs, half professional and middle managers, that modern health care organizations need, the primary responsibility is not their resistance to change, but the lack of effective support from the organization, according to a study. by Marco Sartirana (CERGAS, Bocconi University), Graeme Currie (Warwick Business School), and Mirko Noordegraaf (Utrecht School of Governance), published by Review of public management. "The development of these" hybrid "roles is an interactive process," says Prof. Sartirana, "and where professionals are surrounded by an effective support network we witnessed successful transformations. Doctors are able to become familiar with the new managerial role, meaning and legitimacy in the professional community.

The impetus for managing doctors in top positions does not distort their work and professionalism because it depends on the need to deal with the social changes that have transformed the attitude of patients. Today it is necessary to work – and teach how to work – in clinical teams and integrated treatment pathways in order to respond to the increasingly widespread cases of multi-morbidity and chronicity. It is also important to measure health outcomes to meet the expectations of citizens, who are increasingly seeking the quality of a hospital or department before choosing it. And in this the primary responsibility is played by doctors in leadership positions because – as in any professional organization – doctors first respond to colleagues who have clinical authority and hold leadership positions.

In analyzing the success story of a large university hospital in the Netherlands, Sartirana and his colleagues identify the organizational actions that can support this transformation. Health professionals should have autonomy to make decisions and a budget to administer ("if the doctor must also become a manager, he must be authorized to act as manager"); they should be surrounded by managerial quality profiles (for example, the HR head of the hospital analyzed had the same role in one of the largest private companies in the Netherlands); work in a team and receive feedback from qualified people from other professions (in the Dutch case, the director of the medical department works in a collegiate body that includes a nursing director, a research director, and a chief financial officer); be able to conduct adequate management training; have access to outside trainers and fellow mentors who have held the same position in the past.

"Our study," concludes Professor Sartirana, "shows that the prejudice that doctors are unwilling or incapable of accomplishing this transformation must be overcome." Those professionals who have adequate competence and motivation can become "hybrids," provided that effectively supported. "

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Reference of the newspaper:

  1. Marco Sartirana, Graeme Currie, Mirko Noordegraaf. Interactive identity work of management professionals: a hospital case study. Review of public management2018; 1 DOI: 10.1080 / 14719037.2018.1549269

Cite this page:

Bocconi University. "How to create health centaurs, middle doctors and middle managers: key organizational support." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, January 28, 2019. .

Bocconi University. (2019, January 28). How to create health centaurs, middle doctors and middle management: key organizational support. ScienceDaily. Retired January 28, 2019 from

Bocconi University. "How to create health centaurs, middle doctors and middle managers: key organizational support." ScienceDaily. (accessed January 28, 2019).


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