What is it about?

The paper concerns how new quality management in the Danish hospital sector has created new career and professionalisation opportunities for nurses. While the well-known dualism between the logics of professionalism and managerialism is challenged in the literature, not much is known about how engagement in the tighter steering of practice may converge with professional identities and meaningfulness in work. The paper applies a Bourdieusian and ethnographic approach to the examination of nurses’ enthusiastic involvement in quality management as they take up hybrid managerial positions in an acute care department. The findings demonstrate the importance of the material and symbolic value of scientific-bureaucratic knowledge in legitimizing quality management, achieving meaningfulness in practice and bolstering the professional role of nurses.

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Why is it important?

A dominant perspective in the literature concerned with professional responses to new managerialist strategies and techniques in the hospital sector and other public sectors is that quality management creates tension due to conflicting logics of ‘profession’ and ‘service’ or ‘performance management’. The article demonstrates the ways in which managerialism and professionalism convergence and create meaningfulness in work for the nurses of an acute care department.

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This page is a summary of: The curse of bureaucratisation or the blessings of professionalisation? Nurses’ engaged adoption of quality management in hybrid managerial positions, Scandinavian Journal of Management, June 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2019.101050.
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