This thesis explores reactions to changing occupational roles and identities
precipitated by a Business Process Re-engineering management change programme
within a National Health Service setting. The thesis offers further understanding of
the changing nature of professional roles and occupational identities within health
care. Taking a qualitative approach, through the use of interviews and focus groups,
the empirical core of the PhD examines professional employees' responses to changes
in their own working practices. The main thrust of the argument is that work
reorganisation that changes the role and scope of practice impacts on occupational
identities. The empirical work demonstrates how the effects of change in working
practice create a situation whereby there are clearly defined winners and losers within
and between professions. This thesis links such a recognition with the multiplicity of
interests and the complexities of professional occupational identities within health care. An added dimension is the extent to which disciplinary knowledge creates these professional roles and occupational identities. If health care professionalism is to be redefined there is a requirement for an agenda which addresses the issue of how knowledge and expertise are acquired.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.