Productive working relationships in the midst of change in health care.

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Traditional lines of authority that once provided identity and meaning in health care are blurring as delivery organizations adapt to the challenges of controlling cost and providing quality service. Teams and committees tackle work that was once the realm of individual managers. Men and women at different levels of authority in the organization now work together to make decisions. Previous lines of authority in the health administration education setting are also blurring as colleges and universities, under pressure, respond to customer needs. Academia is increasingly drawing upon adjunct and non-tenure-eligible professionals to streamline departments and save money. Within the structure of a department, workers in these temporary positions have less authority than tenured and tenure-track faculty. They have less authority in the classroom as well. In both the health care industry and academia, women endure these changes more than their male counterparts, since women often assume the variety of flexible roles required by these strategies. Changes in traditional academic authority produce anxiety and stress for everyone involved. However, faculty can teach students a flexible paradigm to navigate and find meaning in these situations to ensure successful and productive working relationships between men and women in the changing workplace. This paper identifies the pertinent components of this paradigm and its application in the health administration classroom.

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The Journal of health administration education

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