Hybrid managers, career narratives and identity work: A contextual analysis of UK healthcare organizations

Michael Bresnen, Damian Hodgson, Simon Bailey, Paula Hyde, John Hassard

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While hybrid managers are increasingly important in contemporary organizations (especially in the public sector), we know little about why or how they become hybrid managers, or how this is shaped by the interplay of professional experience and organizational circumstances. In pursuit of a more variegated, contextualized and dynamic understanding of hybrid management, this article focuses on how individuals transition into managerial hybrids, emphasizing the dynamic and emergent nature of hybrid management identity. Studying managers in English healthcare, we employ the concept of identity work as expressed through career narratives to examine the influence of career trajectories and organizational experiences on emerging hybrid manager identity. The study identifies three broad managerial career narratives – aspirational, ambivalent and agnostic – and relates them to experiences of doctor and nurse hybrid managers in three healthcare settings. An interpretive analysis of these narratives reveals a more variegated, situated and dynamic interpretation of hybrid managerial identities than previously considered and underscores the importance of personal and organizational experiences in shaping emergent hybrid professional/managerial identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-68
Number of pages27
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number8
Early online date3 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019


  • career narratives
  • healthcare
  • hybrid managers
  • identity work
  • management


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