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A Conflict of Interest

Imagine an Association that is formed to “promote the medical and allied sciences, to maintain the honour and interests of the medical profession and to promote and maintain the highest standards of medical practice.”

Let us call this association ‘A’.

In the 1880’s it helped found a medical school and organise the first Intercolonial Medical Congress.
This nascent organisation also arranged the first industrial dispute dispute with the State Government over staffing issues at the hospital.
This resulted in a boycott of the hospital and ultimately mass resignation.
Of course, in those days it was not about pay because they were honorary staff

Within the broad objectives of the Association, let us now imagine that specialised functions begin to develop.
This is an evolutionary process that improves the efficiency of organisms and organisations alike.

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Perhaps these functions would further specialise as the working conditions of doctors changed,
with an increase in employed doctors.

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At this point, the need for an Employee group may defined by external forces demanding a single coherent voice in a legal, industrial arena.
So organisation ‘S’ is born.
Does it arise independently, or is the activity delegated by “A”


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However the new organisation “S” comes about,
association ‘A’ will continue to be “held by the belief” that it has responsibility for all aspects of medical practice.
It has no reason to believe otherwise, it has always been that way.
This is the nature of being “held by a belief” rather than “holding a belief”.
It is not questioned, it is a part of existence like water is wet or the sky is blue.

In this analysis, communities, such as organisations, are regarded being able to be attributed with communal attitudes or beliefs.
These shared beliefs act on individual agents within the organisations through communal-reinforcement.
In their turn the individual agents are making up the community.
In this way a hermeneutic is created between the agent and the community, between agency and communion; neither can be fully comprehended without reference to the other.
To the extent that this attribution holds, statements such as ‘an association holds or is held by a belief ‘, are valid.

It has not given up the idea that it has in “interest” in industrial relations relating to employees.
It may consider that it will allow “S” to deal with the technical aspects of industrial realations
Association ‘S’ has a very clear identity and purpose.

to be continued….


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