Chapter

Work activities and stress among managers in health care

Rebecka Arman, Ewa Wikström, Ellinor Tengelin and Lotta Dellve

in The Work of Managers

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639724
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738661 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639724.003.0006
Work activities and stress among managers in health care

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This chapter reports on the work activities, time-use patterns, and stress patterns of ten health care managers in Sweden. The qualitative and quantitative evidence reveals the fragmentation in their nine-hour working days where each activity, on average, lasts only ten minutes. The time-use patterns vary individually though some patterns are related to position and unit type. Activities deal with the coexisting and competing logics of employeeship, administration, and strategy and risk handling. None of the managers’ approaches for handling the multiple legitimation processes and delimiting their workload boundaries really challenges the complexity of the coexistence of the multiple logics or the boundlessness of their working hours. Using biophysical measures, the research finds that stress reported by the managers is caused by (a) interruptions during challenging tasks and (b) personal situations such as private dilemmas and conflict-loaded or ineffective meetings. It is important to acknowledge managers’ fragmented working situation and to recognize that management should be seen as collective process, or as part of an administrative system.

Keywords: health-care managers; time-use patterns; stress patterns; employeeship; administration; strategy; risk handling

Chapter.  12267 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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