Tandlægekæder: og kampen om legitimitet

Sebastian Remond Spens & Rami Ibrahim Channir

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish dental industry is currently undergoing changes with dental chains forming within the industry. Various parties within the dental industry are skeptical of these changes and have voiced their concern about the entry of dental chains and their intentions. As similar scepticism has been documented in countries such as The United States, it seems as if there is a trend that might potentially have a negative impact on the general perception of dental chains. Therefore, this master thesis focus on the discourses set by different parties regarding dental chains in Denmark and the narratives that seem to thrive within the industry. Finally, the thesis has sought to investigate how these elements altogether can affect the legitimacy of the chains and consequently their businesses.
To achieve an overview of the current development within the Danish dental industry a hermeneutic approach has been imperative, as it has led to a higher understanding of the topic and hence clarified the main topics that needed to be investigated. Thus, a social constructive approach was chosen to explore the discourses and narratives that define the dental industry in Denmark. To explore the narratives surrounding dental chains, five newly graduated dentists were interviewed.
The analysis has shown that there is a dominant discourse in favour of ‘dental health’, which reflects negatively on the chains. Though there were also opposing discourses including commercialization, consumer and corporate competition, which favoured the emphasis set by the aspiring chains. This has led to a widened order of discourse which can lead to social change. Moreover, the newly educated dentists reproduced narratives about chains such as ‘dangerous money men’ and ‘factories’. Both of which seem to correlate with the identified ‘dental health’ discourse. These elements seem to have a negative impact on the legitimacy of the dental chains within the industry. This can lead to several difficulties when recruiting dentists and having to deal with these narratives from a micro-perspective. In spite of these findings, the chains do not seem to strategize in order to gain legitimacy within the industry, but rather want to be perceived as legitimate to the consumers. According to our online survey, the majority of people in Region Hovedstaden between 18-27, are not acquainted with the presence of dental chains and remain indifferent in their opinion towards them. Thus the negative opinion regarding dental chains does not seem to affect their customers.
In conclusion this thesis provides valuable knowledge and suggestions for the dental chains which may be taken into serious consideration as it could potentially assist them to succeed within the dental industry.

EducationsMSc in Psychology, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages158