Hierarchies and cliques in the social networks of health care professionals: implications for the design of dissemination strategies
AbstractInterest in how best to influence the behaviour of clinicians in the interests of both clinical and cost effectiveness has rekindled concern with the social networks of health care professionals. Ever since the seminal work of Coleman et al. [Coleman, J.S., Katz, E., Menzel, H., 1966. Medical Innovation: A Diffusion Study. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis.], networks have been seen as important in the process by which clinicians adopt (or fail to adopt) new innovations in clinical practice. Yet very little is actually known about the social networks of clinicians in modern health care settings. This paper describes the professional social networks of two groups of health care professionals, clinical directors of medicine and directors of nursing, in hospitals in England. We focus on network density, centrality and centralisation because these characteristics have been linked to access to information, social influence and social control processes. The results show that directors of nursing are more central to their networks than clinical directors of medicine and that their networks are more hierarchical. Clinical directors of medicine tend to be embedded in much more densely connected networks which we describe as cliques. The hypotheses that the networks of directors of nursing are better adapted to gathering and disseminating information than clinical directors of medicine, but that the latter could be more potent instruments for changing, or resisting changes, in clinical behaviour, follow from a number of sociological theories. We conclude that professional socialisation and structural location are important determinants of social networks and that these factors could usefully be considered in the design of strategies to inform and influence clinicians.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.
Volume (Year): 48 (1999)
Issue (Month): 5 (March)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Fattore, Giovanni & Frosini, Francesca & Salvatore, Domenico & Tozzi, Valeria, 2009. "Social network analysis in primary care: The impact of interactions on prescribing behaviour," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(2-3), pages 141-148, October.
- Paola Zappa, 2011. "The network structure of knowledge sharing among physicians," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(5), pages 1109-1126, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.