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Of corridors and men: spaces and management practices in emergency hospital departments

Abstract : The use of emergency department corridors is usually portrayed as a disruption of these services. But these spaces have rarely been studied from the point of view of management sciences. The literature that analyzes the relation between space and management have led us to explore the space of corridors along three different axes: spaces are first and foremost places of specific practices; they can then be both managed artefacts but also tools for managing activities; spaces can finally make sense for the activity that is hosted there. However, the symbols currently associated with the corridors do not fully reflect their usefulness. The research can thus change the interpretation made of them, from a neglected space to make it an inhabited place. Research, by taking a close look at the actual practices of health professionals, both appraises the organizational efforts that are made on a daily basis and brings new vocabulary that legitimizes often neglected workspaces. Thus, at the end of our research, corridors of emergency departments appear to be all at once reception areas, surveillance spaces and orientation spaces. They also make it possible to visually manage the flows, to adapt the activity to the flow and even to radically modify the management mode in tension situation. However, symbols associated with the use of corridors are still ambivalent. Forms of rejection coexist with forms of re-appropriation of these spaces. The paper shows more generally that a space is at the same time a determinant of activity but also one of the consequences of this activity. This is the result of a joint structuring of spaces and actors.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 9:22:29 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 7:46:05 PM

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Jacques Orvain, Stéphanie Gentil. Of corridors and men: spaces and management practices in emergency hospital departments. Journal de Gestion et d’Économie Médicales, Editions ESKA, 2019, pp.335-357. ⟨10.3917/jges.194.0335⟩. ⟨hal-02438030⟩

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