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From service provider to service manager: exploring the transition experience


Buchhorn, H and Shannon, E, From service provider to service manager: exploring the transition experience, Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 9, (3) pp. 24-30. ISSN 1833-3818 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australasian College of Health Service Management

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Objective: This study provides insight into the subjective experience of transitioning from service provider to service manager.

Design: Responses from ten groups of Tasmanian health and human services staff (n = 298) were analysed to determine the dominant themes emerging from the transition experience.

Setting: Data were collected from participants in the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services Management and Leadership Development Course.

Main outcome measures: These front line and aspiring managers considered the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the transition.

Results: Results indicate that service providers believed the strengths they brought to a management role were associated with system knowledge (clinical and organisational). A perceived low level of pre-existing management skills and experience was seen as their major weakness. The move into service management was thought to provide opportunities to affect system change and benefits associated with career advancement. Anticipated negative responses from colleagues were identified as threatening this role transition as previous relationships were disrupted. The importance of ‘management mentors’ was emphasised.

Conclusions: Service providers potentially bring significant background knowledge and capability to a management role. A successful transition from service provider to service manager requires both personal and organisational support. Development programs that include shadowing, coaching, mentoring or similar observational and interactive learning activities may provide a stronger level of support than those that focus solely on technical issues of resource and financial management.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:management development, health and human services, role transition
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health care administration
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health policy evaluation
UTAS Author:Buchhorn, H (Miss Hazel Buchhorn)
UTAS Author:Shannon, E (Dr Elizabeth Shannon)
ID Code:97168
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-12-04
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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