Theoretical Perspectives on the Role Transition

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The level of evidence presented by the research is the increased state of transition experienced by professions as they respond to emerging technical advancement that is shifting public demands, changes in policies and policy deals, and legislation regimes. Collective professions require practitioners to effectively manage transitions in their careers starting with shifts from their education to the work environment. New responsibility levels require practitioners to adapt to transitions in order to implement new protocols in their duties and migrate to new sites of operation and cultures.

            The journal is a critical examination of a variety of theoretical approaches to transition in the context of professional practices and proposes future directions for research and studies. The research provides a description of literature relating to professional transition, legislation, governance, and knowledge development. Discussions in the journal focus on examining research on transition in developmental psychology, career studies, and life-course sociology. The perspectives of the research are critically evaluated and compared in terms of approaches and questions, limitations, and contribution to knowledge regarding professional transitions.

            The research targets educators and provides questions that are critical to studies and education for supporting transitions in the workplace and professional learning. The author does not intend to make the journal comprehensive but identifies issues for considerations by readers as they think about diverse transitions experienced by various professionals and professions. There is a need for policies that address institutional arrangement in healthcare to eliminate the structural dependency of medical dominance.

The research work is done by Fenwick Tara, a professional work researcher, with other research on learning in practice, interpersonal education, and challenges of responsibilities and professionalism. She is involved in promoting studies of innovation in professional knowledge and learning practices across education, medicine, healthcare, management and policing.

Role Transition and the Interaction of Relational and Social Identity: New Nursing Roles in the English NHS

            The study mentions that tensions between individuals and collective identity construction are an area that has been neglected by research in arguments regarding changing roles in the health profession. The study aims at demonstrating the relevance of collective identity construction in everyday interactions in the workplace in relation to more individual constructions.

The research article analyzes role transition by examining the way micro-level practices are influenced by macro-level influences interacting in framing role transition focusing on professional identity. The research performs an empirical examination on the case in the English National Health Service with new occupational positions delivering services of genetics within professional bureaucracies with a ‘modernization’ government policy. The research tracks nurses’ experience through recruitments, enactments, and progress in their new genetics role for a period of two years.  The research methodology is a qualitative interview-based study comparing six cases. The roles expected by policymakers and tensions between identities expected by the profession are analyzed drawing upon linked literature on profession's sociology and role and identity.

The research targets managers in healthcare settings and policy1makers who reconfigure professional roles and relationships. Studies on Micro-level influences help ground assertions on negotiating boundaries among healthcare professionals when changing policies.

            On knowledge of the authors, Graeme Currie is a public management professor, with a lot of leading international journals in entrepreneurship, innovation, and organizing healthcare research networks. Rachael Finn is a professor of organizational studies with a lot of research work on healthcare organizations, critical management, and organization theory. Graham Martin is a policy and health organization professor in the social science applied to the improvement of healthcare research. The authors are known to be experts in healthcare management.

Professional identity and role transitions in clinical managers

            The research addresses the challenges clinical managers encounter in balancing and mediating their managerial and professional duties often with conflicting and different logics and demands. Other researchers suggest clinicians occupy managerial roles easily, while some suggest they do not meet their expectations and those of others. Further research is necessary for determining ways clinicians perform and conceptualize management and understand reasons for not meeting their expectations.

            The research paper investigates the way professional backgrounds of clinicians influence transitions into the management roles and identities as clinical managers. The paper’s research method involves interviews and observation of 30 managerial clinicians in hospitals in Norway. The research found doctors experience a lot of difficulties in balancing their roles as health professionals and as managers. The research interviewees maintained health professional identities and reported satisfaction and finding of meaning from their clinical duties. Clinical work is given emphasis by most doctors as a move to gain respect and legitimacy from their colleagues in the same profession. Nurses engage completely in the aspect of managerial roles recounting a more and quick transformation into managerial roles positively.

The research targets healthcare professionals and organizations and informs them of the necessity to focus on identity and roles during recruitment and develop clinicians to take managerial roles. Complex managerial skills can be developed and practiced when the role as managers become part of a person’s self-identity to sustain interest sustainably.

The authors of the article have experience in their role. Ivan Spehar is an associate professor in health economics and health management, while Jan Frich focuses on quality of care and leadership. Lars Erik Kjekshus, on the other hand, is a professor in human geography and sociology.


The modern work environment in healthcare is faced by emerging technological advancements, and other innovations that are shifting public demands, legislation regimes, and policies increasing the state of transition that force professions to act (Fenwick, 2013). All professionals in the workplace must adapt to transitions and implement new protocols in their daily duties, new sites and cultures. The existing research on professional transition focuses on predictions and preparing individual practitioners to navigate transitions in their new environments. More research should be conducted on professional transitions for implication by educators.

            Institutional bureaucracies emphasize on identity on collective levels, with professional roles in healthcare being institutionally determined when compared to roles in other organizations. Professional bureaucracies in public service domains have little chances of negotiating with the outside world when acting individually in implementing new and less-bounded roles (Currie, Finn & Martin, 2010). Challenges nurses face in enacting more autonomous and less bounded roles are viewed as institutional challenges, failing to establish legitimacies both within their ranks and those of the doctors. Professional policies are too generic on their conceptions attempting to skill a mix in pursuit of collaborative healthcare delivery. The policies do not take into account interplays of interpersonal and collective identities across and within professions when developing and implementing new roles, failing to impact everyday professional work. Policies should address institutional arrangements in healthcare systems in order to overcome the structural dependence of medical dominance.

            Clinical managers encounter challenges balancing and mediating their managerial and professional duties often with conflicting and different logics and demands. Clinicians’ identities are influenced by their professional backgrounds impacting how they perceive and transit into managerial roles. People in different positions in a workplace approach managerial roles differently (Spehar, Frich & Kjekshus, 2015). Most doctors maintain identities of their professional roles by performing duties of clinical managers and enhance their clinical identities by incorporating their roles as managers into their professional identities. Medical practitioners have the desire to be managers and leaders but with preference to leadership while continuing with their professional roles. Transiting from a clinician to a managerial role require the inclusion of satisfaction and identity to sustain motivation in developing a complex identity.


Currie, G., Finn, R., & Martin, G. (2010). Role transition and the interaction of relational and social identity: New nursing roles in the English NHS.Organization Studies, 31(7), 941. Retrieved from

Fenwick, T. (2013). Understanding transitions in professional practice and learning.Journal of Workplace Learning, 25(6), 352-367. doi: Retrieved from

Spehar, I., Frich, J. C., & Kjekshus, L. E. (2015). Professional identity and role transitions in clinical managers. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 29(3), 353-366. Retrieved from

October 13, 2023

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