Managing ward managers for roles in HRM in the NHS: Overworked and under-resourced

Hutchinson, S. and Purcell, J. (2010) Managing ward managers for roles in HRM in the NHS: Overworked and under-resourced. Human Resource Management Journal, 20 (4). pp. 357-374. ISSN 0954-5395 Available from:

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Abstract Drawing on case study research in seven NHS Trusts this paper considers the role and management of ward managers and paramedic supervisors, focusing on their HRM responsibilities. In the NHS these front-line managers are critical to the delivery of effective HRM and thereby strongly influence organisational performance and service delivery. However, despite the mounting literature on leadership and performance in healthcare, little is known about this body of managers who have been generally neglected by academics and practitioners. This paper seeks to address these shortcomings by considering the content and practice of these junior managers’ role, their work experiences and factors which influence their ability to deliver effective HRM. The findings reveal that the roles of these managers has enhanced and extended to include an extensive portfolio of HR duties, but is subject to considerable constraint. The multiplicity of roles these managers are required to perform have magnified issues of role conflict and ambiguity, heavy workloads and stress. Fundamentally, however, these managers lacked support from senior managers and the HR function.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:ward managers, front line managers, NHS, HRM
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Business Management
ID Code:12722
Deposited By: S. Hutchinson
Deposited On:13 Dec 2010 13:51
Last Modified:26 Feb 2017 07:53

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