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Open Access Social and Geographical Boundaries Around Senior Nurse and Physician Leaders: An Application of Social Network Analysis Les limites sociales et géographiques de l'infirmier-cadre supérieur et des médecins responsables : une application de l'analyse des réseaux sociaux

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to describe the social and geographical boundaries around the networks of senior nurse executives and physician leaders and managers in acute-care hospitals in the United Kingdom. A telephone survey was conducted using standard social network methods. A random sample was drawn from a national list and repeatedly sampled until 100 respondents were interviewed. The response rate was 49.5%. Both groups tended to discuss "important professional matters" with others who were similar to themselves in terms of profession, gender, age, and seniority, with physicians being more extreme in this regard. The implication is that gaps in the network of informal ties will impede the dissemination of information and the spread of social influence between these 2 important groups. Managers (non-clinically qualified) appear to occupy a powerful "brokerage" role. Informal networks are mainly composed of local ties. The authors argue that dissemination and influence strategies that take features of the social structure into account are more likely to be successful.

French
Cette étude a pour objectif de décrire les limites sociales et géographiques des réseaux d'infirmiers-cadres supérieurs et de médecins responsables et gestionnaires dans les hôpitaux de soins de courte durée au Royaume-Uni. Une enquête téléphonique a été effectuée au moyen des méthodes d'analyse des réseaux sociaux. Un échantillon aléatoire a été sélectionné à partir d'une liste nationale et échantillonné à répétition jusqu'à ce que 100 répondants aient été interviewés. Le taux de réponse obtenu a été de 49,5 %. Les membres des deux groupes avaient tendance à discuter « de questions professionnelles importantes » avec des personnes semblables à eux sur le plan de la profession, du sexe, de l'âge et de l'ancienneté, les médecins affichant une attitude plus marquée à cet égard. Il en ressort que les coupures dans le réseau de liens informels entraveront la dissémination de l'information et de l'influence sociale entre ces deux groupes importants. Les gestionnaires (non qualifiés cliniquement) semblent jouer un puissant rôle de « courtage ». Les réseaux informels sont essentiellement composés de liens locaux. Les auteurs soutiennent que des stratégies de dissémination et d'influence qui prennent en compte les particularités de la structure sociale ont plus de chances de réussir.

Keywords: DISSEMINATION; INFLUENCE; INTER-PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS; LEADERS AND MANAGERS; NURSE EXECUTIVES; PHYSICIANS; SOCIAL NETWORKS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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