Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

To Be or Not to Be ... a Manager: The Career Choices of Health Professionals

By Boucher, Carlene J. | Australian Health Review, May 2005 | Go to article overview

To Be or Not to Be ... a Manager: The Career Choices of Health Professionals


Boucher, Carlene J., Australian Health Review


Abstract

This paper focuses on decisions made by professionals working in the health industry who have, at some stage in their career, considered taking on a management role. It describes some of the factors that appear to influence their decisions. The study, based on 60 interviews with professionals working in the health industry, identified six different categories in terms of their approach and attitudes to taking on management roles. The paper concludes with an analysis of the implications for people considering a management career in the health industry.

Aust Health Rev 2005: 29(2): 218-225

THE LITERATURE ON CAREERS in general, and management careers in particular, lends to focus on the competencies required to perform in a management role1-5 and how to make the transition to management. There is often an implicit assumption that moving into management is a positive career move. The issue of whether a person wants to become or should become a manager (and how they determine this) receives far less attention.12,13

During fifteen years working as a consultant and academic in the health field, I have been struck by the lack of career planning on the part of organisations and individuals in the sector, especially in terms of individual decisions about pursuing a management versus a technical (clinical or professional) career path14 and the lack of organisational practices such as succession planning, mentoring and strategic management development.15-17 Given the nature of the work that these organisations perform and the amount of resources involved, it is vital that people who are both willing and able to do it well manage them. Getting the right people into management roles in the health sector is important, but somewhat problematic. This study sought to answer the research question:

What factors are described by senior professionals working in the health industry as being important to their decisions to take or not take promotion into management roles within an organisation, or to apply for a management position with another organisation?

The research did not aim to look at whether the people were making the right decisions (ie, that the people most suited were deciding to become managers and less suited people were deciding not to). Rather, this study focused on identifying the factors that health professionals thought influenced their decisions to become or not become managers, and why people who had taken on management roles at some stage in their career chose to continue in management roles or to take another career path. The study included some professionals with non-clinical backgrounds because I was interested in the choices made by all professionals working in the industry.

Methods

The research was conducted in Melbourne, Australia. I recruited 60 participants who were currently or had been employed in professional roles in the health sector for at least 5 years and had made choices around taking on a management role.

The aim was not to get a representative sample of health staff. Rather, I wanted participants who exhibited the widest range of career behaviours. I was interested in the different approaches people took regarding their career choices rather than trying to identify the most common career paths. I interviewed people from a range of professional backgrounds including medicine, nursing, social work, human resources, food services, podiatry, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pathology and radiology. The participants were drawn from a range of health care settings including acute services, aged care, community health, mental health and residential care. They were recruited using snowball sampling.18 Once some of the categories began to emerge I switched to theoretical sampling18 and intentionally sought out participants whose career stories appeared to have followed different paths from those already interviewed.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

To Be or Not to Be ... a Manager: The Career Choices of Health Professionals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.