'I'm a nurse and I have the responsibility': Human identity and non-human stakeholder agency in healthcare practice

Inger Lassen*

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Abstrakt

This article explores the interplay of human and non human actors in a Danish hospital setting in which corporate and individual stakeholder identities are negotiated, contested or aligned with the common goal of providing good health care. Viewing the hospital as a network of stakeholders, and following Luoma-Aho and Paloviita (2010), I subscribe to the argument that non-human agency has been given too little attention in stakeholder literature. From this point of departure I discuss the complexities of nonhuman agency, bringing together aspects of Latour’s Actor Network Theory (ANT) and Halliday’s Grammatical Metaphor Theory. I subsequently combine ANT and Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) Theory (specifically, Grammatical Metaphor Theory, Transitivity analysis, and Mood and Modality) in analyses of selected data in an empirical case study of a hospital in Denmark. In the analyses I focus on the complex nature of non-human agency as construed in printed materials and interviews with nursing staff in one of the hospital wards. I discuss how non-human stakeholders might influence the construal of identity among nursing staff and conclude with reflections on the role played by non-human stakeholders in a healthcare sector increasingly governed by private-sector management instruments.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice
Vol/bind9
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)105-126
Antal sider22
ISSN2040-3658
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2012

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