Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

Working paper in Studies of Organization and Society,
University of Gothenburg, Studies of Organization and Society, Department of Business Administration

No 2003:5: Managerial Positions and Generational Change. A study in the Health Care Sector of the Västra Götaland County

Ewa Wikström () and Rikard Eriksson ()
Additional contact information
Ewa Wikström: Studier av organisation och samhälle, Postal: Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Handelshögskolan vid Göteborgs universitet, Box 610, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
Rikard Eriksson: Västra Götalandsregionen, FoU enheten, Postal: NÄL, 461 85 Trollhättan,

Abstract: The study highlights a number of circumstances that constitutes as incentives for changing the management within the health care sector. Today the physicians and the medical competence are not necessarily regarded as "the natural leaders". The tradition that doctors become managers can also be characterised as a vertical gender-distribution in the organisation since the majority of doctors are men. One has started to call in to question the knowledge forming the basis of becoming a manager and the typical characteristics of a manager. The typically "male" characteristics such as objectivity, authority, and competition are seen as out-of-date and inefficient. Another ground for transforming the leadership is the coming generational shift. The interviewees advocate, in the same rhetorical manner as in the private sector, for a combined leadership, where one can take advantage of both the young and old competences and creating something new. The younger are described as more flexible, team- and responsibility-oriented. They also have a different view on power, hierarchy, and gender, and lastly they tend to view loyalty in a different manner. Earlier studies have shown that managers within the health care sector identify with their own profession rather than the organisation and the employer. In contrast to this, the study throws light upon the fact that managers in a greater extent identify with management(from an organizational/employer perspective).

Keywords: Management in the health care sector; position; gender; generation and loyalty

23 pages, February 25, 2004

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