The (un)desirability of hybrid managers as ‘controlled’ professionals: comparative cases of tax and healthcare professionals

Graeme Currie*, Nicola Burgess, Penelope Tuck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
274 Downloads (Pure)


In this review, focusing upon comparative cases of tax inspectors and nurses, we address debate about whether development of hybrid manager roles represents controlled professionalism or organizing professionalism. We evaluate whether the activities of hybrid managers are desirable in broader terms, whether the actions of hybrid managers transcend executive managers' or policy-makers' interests to serve a broader societal interest, thereby retaining a hallmark of professionalism. We argue that tax inspectors enact the hybrid role in a way characteristic of controlled professionalism. Meanwhile hybrid nurse managers enact their role characteristic of controlled professionalism in a poor performing organization, but more characteristic of organizing professionalism in a high performing organization. Despite our mixed analysis of how this plays out on the ground, we remain optimistic that managerial practice of hybrids can be managed from within professional ranks, and in a way that meets organizational and public interest simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Professions and Organization
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Graeme Currie's time spent in analysis and writing for this article was funded by National Institute of Health Research CLAHRC WM. The views expressed here are entirely his own and those of his co-authors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected].


  • controlled professionalism
  • hybrid managers
  • organizing professionalism
  • public interest
  • public sector
  • strategic contribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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