Understanding hybrid roles: the role of identity processes amongst physicians

North West London
Published Date: 20 Jul 2014

Increasing attention has been paid in both public administration and organizational theory to understanding how physicians assume a ‘hybrid’ role as they take on managerial responsibilities. Limited theoretical attention has been devoted to the processes involved in negotiating, developing, and maintaining such a role. We draw on identity theory, using a qualitative, five-year longitudinal case study, to explore how hybrid physician–managers in the English National Health Service and the organizations they are situated in achieve this. We highlight the importance of saliency – how central an identity is to an individual's values and beliefs – in managing new identities. We found three differing responses to taking on a hybrid physician–manager role, with identity emerging as a mitigating factor for negotiating potentially conflicting roles. We discuss the implications for existing theory and practice in the management of public organizations and identify an agenda for further research

Dimitrios Spyridonidis