What do Diaconal Hospital Managers really do? Management at Diakonhjemmet Hospital: Context, Intention and Practice
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
What does it mean to be a manager, and how does the practice of managing a diaconal hospital manifest itself in everyday practice? Even though diaconal institutions have played a central part of the church’s ministry for over a hundred years, little attention has been given to diaconal management. This article addresses the everyday practice of a single manager’s job in a private faith-affiliated hospital in Norway, and is based on data from an observational study combined with a interview of the manager. The article concludes that diaconal managing in practice largely resembles the job of hospital managers in general. The manager mostly spent time dealing with internal and short-range issues. At the same time, the activities observed also related to critical long-range issues (processing information, strategic adjustment and profiling the diaconal foundation of the hospital), and involves handling different rationalities. Diaconal identification and profile are sought through the use of narratives and values in practice drawing on overarching narratives, values, and the tradition of professional diaconia as an impetus for managing professional practice. It seems necessary to reformulate the relation between church and diaconal institutions, and to develop a platform for diaconia that might communicate within institutions acting on the boundaries of religion, health and society.