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Between change and reproduction

Between change and reproduction PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the role of organizational space in attempts at practice redesign and innovation that involve a break with the traditional professional boundaries in a recently established Danish hospital department.Design/methodology/approachOrganizational ethnography combined with Bourdieusian theorization. The data used for this paper are derived from 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork. The author performed participant and meeting observations combined with interviews and the reading of internal and external documents.FindingsDespite the department’s attempts at pursuing practice redesign and innovation by breaking with the institutionalized professional boundaries as well as role hierarchies, and emphasizing collaboration between nurses and doctors, the paper demonstrates how the attempts at change meet invisible impediments in practice and how organizational space plays an important yet, overlooked part in reproducing field tradition.Originality/valueBy virtue of Bourdieusian theorization in combination with organizational ethnography, the paper contributes with unique insights into a seldom studied part of hospital organization, which is how organizational space, rather than being a backdrop for organizational life, is constructed and used by professionals whose habitus renders this space an active component in delimiting professional work as well as the scope of change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Ethnography Emerald Publishing

Between change and reproduction

Journal of Organizational Ethnography , Volume 6 (3): 13 – Oct 9, 2017

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2046-6749
DOI
10.1108/JOE-02-2017-0007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the role of organizational space in attempts at practice redesign and innovation that involve a break with the traditional professional boundaries in a recently established Danish hospital department.Design/methodology/approachOrganizational ethnography combined with Bourdieusian theorization. The data used for this paper are derived from 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork. The author performed participant and meeting observations combined with interviews and the reading of internal and external documents.FindingsDespite the department’s attempts at pursuing practice redesign and innovation by breaking with the institutionalized professional boundaries as well as role hierarchies, and emphasizing collaboration between nurses and doctors, the paper demonstrates how the attempts at change meet invisible impediments in practice and how organizational space plays an important yet, overlooked part in reproducing field tradition.Originality/valueBy virtue of Bourdieusian theorization in combination with organizational ethnography, the paper contributes with unique insights into a seldom studied part of hospital organization, which is how organizational space, rather than being a backdrop for organizational life, is constructed and used by professionals whose habitus renders this space an active component in delimiting professional work as well as the scope of change.

Journal

Journal of Organizational EthnographyEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 9, 2017

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