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Dialogues and dialectics:

Dialogues and dialectics: limits to clinician-manager interaction in healthcare organizations

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - 2012


This paper examines clinicianemanager interactions within healthcare organizations in the UK and contrasts the notions of dialetics and dialogues within such interactions. We draw particularly on Bakhtin’s work on dialogue to frame our focal research question, which considers the extent to which clinicianemanager interactions are dialogic. Using data drawn from a thirty-two month study of five UK healthcare organizations we suggest that clinician-manager interactions are more dialectic than dialogic in their orientation. Further, we suggest that, despite the appearance of dialogical possibility between clinicians and non-clinicians, the tendency to dialectic positioning reinforces opposition between these groups and we conclude that local, rather than system-wide interventions, offer the best means of disrupting these dialectics and fostering productive dialogue

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