Date of Award

Summer 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cooper, Richard

Second Advisor

Cotton, John

Third Advisor

Guastello, Stephen


After working with physicians for the past fifteen years in several capacities, I became interested in really taking a look at what the literature often refers to as the ongoing difficulty between medicine and management. When I became a member of an executive team to two hospitals, I continued to have the opportunity to work closely with physicians; both clinical and administrative types. It was during my tenure there that I realized that there were differences between these two groups; the physician executives seemed to have a tremendous amount of conflict in making decisions regarding quality of care versus cost. This conflict at times completely paralyzed their decision making capabilities. This is a group that could no longer make decisions independently and were expected to function as members of a management team. Because of experiencing first hand the difficulties this new group of executives had, I became interested in studying this group further and with academic pursuit. This resulted in my searching deeper into a well known theory, role theory, and applying it to the physician who is assuming a seemingly unlikely position as an executive. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of organizational and role variables on job satisfaction among physician executives, as well as non-physician executives. A geographically stratified sample of 160 physician and non-physician executives was surveyed by mail according to the Dillman method of mail surveys. The subjects were asked a series of questions regarding perceived level of participation in decision making, hierarchy of authority, conflict and ambiguity in the role as executive. The subjects were also asked about level of job satisfaction and commitment to the organization. Analyses of the data indicates that differences do exist among physician executives and non-physician, traditional health care executives with regard to these variables...



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