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Professionalism and the know‐do gap: exploring intrinsic motivation among health workers in Tanzania

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  • Kenneth L. Leonard
  • Melkiory C. Masatu

Abstract

Professionalism can be defined generally as adhering to the accepted standards of a profession and placing the interests of the public above the individual professional's immediate interests. In the field of medicine, professionalism should lead at least some practitioners in developing countries to effectively care for their patients despite the absence of extrinsic incentives to do so. In this study we examine the behavior of 80 practitioners from the Arusha region of Tanzania for evidence of professionalism. We show that about 20% of these practitioners behave professionally, and almost half of those who do so practice in the public sector. These professional health care workers provide high quality care even when they work in an environment that does not reward this effort, a finding that has important implications for the use of performance-based incentives. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth L. Leonard & Melkiory C. Masatu, 2010. "Professionalism and the know‐do gap: exploring intrinsic motivation among health workers in Tanzania," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(12), pages 1461-1477, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:12:p:1461-1477
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1564
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bonfrer, Igna & Van de Poel, Ellen & Van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2014. "The effects of performance incentives on the utilization and quality of maternal and child care in Burundi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 96-104.
    2. Andrew McNee, 2012. "Illuminating the local: can non-formal institutions be complementary to health system development in Papua New Guinea?," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1215, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Scheil-Adlung, Xenia., 2015. "Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection : new data on rural deficits in health coverage for 174 countries," ILO Working Papers 994876213402676, International Labour Organization.
    4. Martin Chalkley & Andrew Mirelman & Luigi Siciliani & Marc Suhrcke, 2016. "Paying for performance for health care in low- and middle-income countries: an economic perspective," Working Papers 140cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    5. repec:eee:socmed:v:181:y:2017:i:c:p:54-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:nip:nipewp:10/2014 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Mangham-Jefferies, Lindsay & Hanson, Kara & Mbacham, Wilfred & Onwujekwe, Obinna & Wiseman, Virginia, 2014. "What determines providers' stated preference for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 98-106.
    8. repec:eee:socmed:v:207:y:2018:i:c:p:80-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lohmann, Julia & Houlfort, Nathalie & De Allegri, Manuela, 2016. "Crowding out or no crowding out? A Self-Determination Theory approach to health worker motivation in performance-based financing," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 1-8.
    10. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Quality competition with profit constraints," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 642-659.
    11. Brock, J. Michelle & Lange, Andreas & Leonard, Kenneth L., 2015. "Esteem and social information: On determinants of prosocial behavior of clinicians in Tanzania," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 85-94.
    12. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2017. "Hospital Mergers with Regulated Prices," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 597-627, July.

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