A ‘movement for improvement’?: a qualitative study of the adoption of social movement strategies in the implementation of a quality improvement campaign

Waring, Justin and Crompton, Amanda (2017) A ‘movement for improvement’?: a qualitative study of the adoption of social movement strategies in the implementation of a quality improvement campaign. Sociology of Health and Illness . ISSN 1467-9566

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Abstract

Given the difficulties of implementing ‘top-down’ quality improvements, health service leaders have turned to methods that empower clinicians to co-produce ‘bottom-up’ improvements. This has involved the adoption of strategies and activities associated with social movements, with clinicians encouraged to participate in collective action towards the shared goal of improvement. This paper examines the adoption of social movement methods by hospital managers as a strategy for implementing a quality improvement ‘campaign’. Our case study suggests that, despite the claim of empowering clinicians to develop ‘bottom-up’ improvements, the use of social movement methods is narrowly concerned with engaging clinicians in a pre-determined programme of ‘top-down’ change. It finds a prominent role for ‘hybrid’ clinical leaders and other staff representatives in the mobilisation of the campaign, especially for enrolling clinicians in change activities. The work of these ‘hybrids’ suggests some degree of creative mediation between clinical and managerial interests, but more often alignment with the aspirations of management. The study raises questions about the translation of social movements theories as a strategy for managing change and re-inventing professionalism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Health service organisations; National Health Service (NHS); Organisational theory; Professions/professionalisation; Quality of care
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-9566.12560
Depositing User: Howis, Jennifer
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 11:08
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 13:55
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/40697

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