Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Healthcare Organizational Metaphors and Implications for Leadership
by Goodwin, Charles Scott, D.A., Franklin Pierce University, 2013, 191; 3567804
Abstract (Summary)

Healthcare as an industry included over 14 million workers in the United States and accounted for more than 15 percent of total Gross Domestic Product in 2008. Healthcare, particularly hospitals, played a significant role in shaping the culture, economy and quality of life throughout the United States beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing to the present. For this reason, it was important to understand the nature of hospitals as healthcare organizations and the nature of leadership within these organizations. Metaphors were identified as a viable way to capture the structure and functioning of hospitals through their evolution as organizations over the past century and were used to evaluate the effectiveness of hospital leadership in responding to environmental, financial and societal changes. Based on this assessment, the role of metaphors as a leadership tool was examined and as well as the potential role of metaphors in promoting organizations development.

A survey of Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) in the Northeastern United States was used to assess the prevalence of the two most common metaphors cited in the literature for healthcare organizations, mechanistic and complex adaptive system. A unique aspect of this survey was the use of paired statements reflecting characteristics of the two most common metaphors to evaluate their use in healthcare organizations. Surprisingly, the metaphors frequently cited in the literature were identified infrequently and no metaphors were identified consistently across hospitals in the region.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nepton, Carol, Lacey, James
Commitee: Duchene, Pamela
School: Franklin Pierce University
Department: Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Hampshire
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Organization Theory, Language, Health care management
Keywords: Bureaucracy, Complexity, Healthcare, Leadership, Metaphor, Organization
Publication Number: 3567804
ISBN: 978-1-303-20362-6
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