What Is the Professional Identity of Allied Health Managers?

  • Ka-Hi May Mak Liverpool Hospital
  • Louise Kippist Western Sydney University
  • Terry Sloan Western Sydney University
  • Kathy Eljiz University of Tasmania
Keywords: professional identity, managers, allied health, health professionals


Objective: This paper explores the professional identity (PI) of Allied Health Managers (AHMs) and how their identity is typically constructed.

Methods: A qualitative research methodology utilising semi-structured interviews was employed for this research. Thematic analysis was used to extract relevant data from the transcripts.

Settings: The study was undertaken in five acute hospitals within one of the largest metropolitan Local Health Districts in New South Wales, Australia. A total of sixteen AHMs and deputy AHMs were interviewed.

Results: Three key themes identified were: PI of AHM, motivation of becoming a manager, and construction of their identity. Factors motivating AHMs to follow a management pathway were identified as being a natural progression and having interest in high-level decision-making. Despite AHMs sharing similar role conflict as the medical managers, they adapted to hybrid manager roles with minimal resentment. They also adopted to the hybrid manager role with a positive, realistic and flexible perspective.

Conclusion: Despite facing role conflict as a hybrid-professional-manager, AHMs manage the transition from clinicians to managers with a positive approach. This indicates that AHMs may require certain skills or characteristics to successfully construct their PI.

Author Biographies

Ka-Hi May Mak, Liverpool Hospital

Liverpool Hospital - Dietetic Department
Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

Western Sydney University, School of Business 
Paramatta, New South Wales, Australia

Louise Kippist, Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University, School of Business
Paramatta, New South Wales, Australia

Terry Sloan, Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University, School of Business 
Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia

Kathy Eljiz, University of Tasmania

University of Tasmania, Australia

How to Cite
Mak K-H, Kippist L, Sloan T, Eljiz K. What Is the Professional Identity of Allied Health Managers?. APJHM [Internet]. 14Apr.2019 [cited 22Jan.2020];14(1):58. Available from: https://journal.achsm.org.au/index.php/achsm/article/view/219
Research Articles