A Qualitative Study of What Informs the Theory and Practice of Physician Managers


This qualitative study examined the informational sources physician managers select to inform their theory and practice of management, while acknowledging that management style is the more generally accepted term. Using physicians for the purposive sample solved some investigational issues, but also created new ones, including an unanticipated ethical issue. The study found that for this sample of physicians, a broad range of sources, such personal or clinical values, became stand-ins for management theory. A few physicians did make use of some well-recognized academic sources, book titles in particular, but interestingly, they complained that nonphysician managers tend to interpret the same sources differently. The study concluded with recommendations that might lead to greater access and utilization of academic sources by physician managers.

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