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Job moves are common in most careers these days. Accordingly, the past two decades have seen a rapid accumulation of research in the management and related literatures on job mobility, that is, the movement of individuals between jobs, organisations or types of work.1 This research has primarily been situated in for-profit business firms, but the questions, methods of inquiry and findings could apply more broadly, specifically, to healthcare contexts. For example, when doctors change hospitals, or move from private practice to hospital or health system employment (or vice versa), how does it affect their career success or their patient care outcomes? Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals experience job mobility in their careers, and these moves could have important implications for them, their patients, their employing organisations and even healthcare policy.
The rise of the boundaryless career, where job moves to new employers and even new occupations is considered normal,2 and the rupture of the traditional loyalty-based employment relationship between workers and employers3 have given rise to less stable careers, making questions around job mobility and career change more interesting than ever. In addition, advances in methods4 and availability of mobility and career history data for a wide variety of occupations and industries from matched employee–employer datasets and online sources such as LinkedIn5 6 have enabled new ways of investigating job mobility and careers. Healthcare is not immune to the larger institutional trends: the imposition of market models to healthcare systems and other changes to healthcare institutions around the world have made career mobility questions increasingly relevant to the healthcare sector. Certainly, job mobility is common for health professionals, and studies of mobility are already present in healthcare research.7–9 Rather than being a comprehensive review of mobility research,10 11 our focus will be …
Contributors GD led the writing for the management literature on job mobility. MG led the writing for implications on healthcare. The authors collaborated on positioning and framing of the article, as well as the differences between healthcare and business contexts.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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