Training managers constructing their identities in English health and care agencies

Bell, Linda (2007) Training managers constructing their identities in English health and care agencies. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 26 (4) . pp. 287-304. ISSN 2040-7149 [Article] (doi:10.1108/02610150710749403)


Purpose – The “Training to Communicate” research (1999-2001) explored “communication” training needs and provision in 76 health and social care public and independent sector agencies in London and South East England, including enhancement of work with adults having communication impairments. The focus of this paper is to examine how training managers discussed their activities and constructed their identities as training “experts”.

Design/methodology/approach – Seventeen semi-structured interviews with male and female managers responsible for key aspects of training (workforce development) in public health trusts or social services agencies are analysed using a narrative approach. The wider project included a questionnaire-based survey of agency representatives and documentary analysis of training materials.

Findings – Health and social care services were undergoing extensive reorganization as part of wider managerialist agendas. Discourses of “change”, “continuous improvement” and “quality” therefore pervaded all aspects of these organizations. Interviewees identified with “new” (managerial) occupational knowledges and identities but some appeared to be in an ambiguous position, negotiating between “new” occupational knowledges and identities, and “old” identities based on occupational/practitioner expertise. Aspects of this positioning appeared gendered; female interviewees often readily embraced “new” managerialist identity(ies). Interviewees discussed collaborative processes (in “space” not “place”), including networking, managing relationships with other managers within the organization, and broader “political” awareness, to justify their own positions, responsibilities and performances as “training” experts.

Originality/value – This research extends theories on gendered performances in higher education contexts to public sector, work-based education settings.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 2912
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Linda Bell
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2010 08:19
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:15

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