Ian Kessler, Paul Heron and Sue Dopson are at Said Business School, University of Oxford.
Indeterminacy and the Regulation of Task Allocation: The Shape of Support Roles in Healthcare
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
© John Wiley & Sons Ltd/London School of Economics 2012
British Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume 51, Issue 2, pages 310–332, June 2013
How to Cite
Kessler, I., Heron, P. and Dopson, S. (2013), Indeterminacy and the Regulation of Task Allocation: The Shape of Support Roles in Healthcare. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51: 310–332. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00892.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
- Final version accepted on 23 December 2011.
Drawing upon Marsden's typology of employment systems, this article explores how the indeterminacy of the employment relationship is enacted and resolved in relation to the healthcare assistant (HCA), a key work role in the delivery of nursing care in a hospital setting. It suggests that the regulation of task allocation within nursing assumes a hybrid form, requiring further analysis of the influences shaping the HCA role. Based on multi-method hospital case studies, the article distinguishes different types of HCA, explaining their emergence by reference to the interaction between organizational structure and personal agency. The article illustrates the value of Marsden's framework, and by addressing its limits in a healthcare setting seeks to develop a deeper understanding of task allocation in different workplace employment systems.