Changing logics in healthcare and their effects on the identity motives and identity work of doctors

Graeme Martin, Stacey Bushfield (Lead / Corresponding author), Sabina Siebert, Brian Howieson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
350 Downloads (Pure)


Recent literature on hybridity has provided useful insights into how professionals have responded to changing institutional logics. Our focus is on how shifting logics have shaped senior medical professionals’ identity motives and identity work in a qualitative study of hospital consultants in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. We found a binary divide between a large category of traditionalist doctors who reject shifting logics, and a much smaller category of incorporated consultants who broadly accept shifting logics and advocate change, with little evidence of significant ambivalence or temporary identity ‘fixes’ associated with liminality. By developing a new inductively generated framework, we show how the identity motives and identity work of these two categories of doctors differ significantly. We explore the underlying causes of these differences, and the implications they hold for theory and practice in medical professionalism, medical professional leadership and healthcare reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477–1499
Number of pages23
JournalOrganization Studies (OS)
Issue number9
Early online date24 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • doctors’ professional identities
  • hybrid organizations
  • identity motives
  • identity work
  • senior professionals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management


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