Developing effective institutional managers in the 1980s-Part 2: some new directions



In the earlier paper (published in the March 1980 issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing) two dominant themes were developed. One was that the organizational behaviour of nurse managers could be traced to the social defence system learned during early nursing, the other was that many of the assumptions which underpin much of the current thinking on nurse management training can do little either to help them unlearn these early behaviours or to prepare them to take more innovative action in their respective roles. Part 2 analyses some implications of this. The initial discussion examines the purpose of management training and what it is intended to achieve, which embraces the issues of the transfer of course learning back to the workplace and the greater involvement of line managers in the development of their staff. By redefining nursing in terms of open-system boundary management, some new directions are suggested which management trainers may find useful in clarifying and redefining their own task, as well as enabling nurse managers to be more innovative and effective within the constraints of their organizational situations. The implications go beyond just nursing and nurse management training. They are concerned with the wider range of institutions whose task is the throughput of people, and which tend to be managed by groups of professionals.