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World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Problematizing the role of lay-workers: Lessons from a clinical setting

Beech, P.N.H. and de Caestecker, L. and MacIntosh, R. and McInnes, P.A. and Ross, M. (2004) Problematizing the role of lay-workers: Lessons from a clinical setting. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 17 (6). pp. 486-497. ISSN 0951-3558

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Abstract

This paper seeks to problematize the role(s) that lay-workers can play and the nature of their relationship with other, well-established professional groups. Views are extracted from the literature on how best to manage the introduction of lay-workers into professional settings and the paper examines the experience of attempting this in national health demonstration project funded by the Scottish Executive Health Department. Whilst the literature argues that the use of lay-workers will enhance flexibility and challenge some of the bureaucratic/hierarchical problems of traditional organizations, the empirical evidence presented here suggests that phenomena such as hierarchy are persistent and that individual and collective identities are constantly renegotiated in a complex and dynamic process which recreates hierarchy albeit in an unintentional way. This paper offers a series of observations from the project study then generalise in terms of implications for management practice and management theory.