Role redesign: New ways of working in the NHS

Paula Hyde*, Anne McBride, Ruth Young, Kieran Walshe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - To examine the introduction of role-redesign in the NHS and highlight implications for employment relations. Design/methodology/approach - A 12-month independent evaluation (2003-2004) of a role redesign initiative in the NHS is reported. The study followed a developmental, case-study design and included secondary data analysis, semi-structured interviews and observations at five case-study sites. Findings - The role redesign process involved four types of change to job content: skill-mix changes; job widening; job deepening; and development of new roles. Each of these changes had implications for employment relations in terms of remuneration, management and accountability, and education and training. Research limitations/implications - The research involves one initiative in the NHS and was evaluating a developing programme. Whilst implications are suggested for efforts at role redesign generally the research specifically relates to NHS organisations. Practical implications - Three aspects of employment relations are identified as important when attempting role redesign: remuneration, management and accountability, and education and training. Originality/value - This paper offers the first account of this national NHS role redesign initiative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-712
Number of pages16
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Change management
  • Employee relations
  • Employees
  • Health services
  • Job design


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