A shift in the role of the middle manager is surfacing in the management literature as a result of the re-engineering of organizational structures and the impact of global economic influences. In response to free market demands, global economic pressures, and complex environmental influences, organizational structures are becoming flatter, more flexible, and less centralized (Simmering, 2012). This organizational restructuring may be leading to a change in the role of the middle manager as responsibilities are being shifted down the hierarchy (Balogun, 2003).
As a source of much criticism and theoretical debate, middle managers have been portrayed in a negative light for decades. Despite the changing role of the middle manager as responsibilities continue to shift down the hierarchy, middle managers remain an integral part of organizational structures. Middle managers may be a strategic and tactical asset as opposed to a threat to an organization, especially during times of organizational transition (Balogun, 2003). Current literature suggests that middle managers make valuable contributions to the implementation process through the realization of ideas, and the ability to maintain momentum, influence networks, and manage tension among employees (Huy, 2001).
Nursing and the healthcare industry are not except from the middle manager debate. Nurse managers frequently struggle with the roadblocks inherent to bureaucratic healthcare models. There is a fine balance between the politics of healthcare bureaucracies and the delivery of safe, timely, and effective healthcare. How does the nurse manager keep from walking out the door at the end of the day?
NAA wants to hear from nurse managers. Share your experiences with other nurses so we can work to find effective solutions to the issues which prevent nurse managers from doing their jobs. NAA supports the role of the nurse manager and is committed to improving the nurse practice environment.
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