Managing human resources in healthcare: learning from world class practices ‐ part I

Mohamed Zairi (SABIC Chair in Best Practice Management, European Centre for TQM, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)

Health Manpower Management

ISSN: 0955-2065

Publication date: 1 April 1998


This paper, which is presented in two parts, is intended to demonstrate that practices related to the area of human resources management, adopted by model organisations that have dominated their markets consistently, can lend themselves very well to the healthcare sector, which is primarily a “people‐oriented” sector. As change in a modern business context is set to continue in an unrelenting way, most organisations will be presented with the challenge of developing the necessary skills and areas of expertise to enable them to cope with the demands on them, master technological opportunities at their disposal, learn how to exploit modern management concepts and optimise value to all the stakeholders they intend to serve. This paper draws from best practices using the experiences of quality recognised organisations and many admired names through pioneering human resource policies and practices and through clear demonstrations on the benefits of relying on people as the major “asset”. Part I of this article addresses the importance of human resources as revealed through models of management for organisational excellence. In particular, the paper refers to the criteria for excellence in relation to people management using the following prestigious and integrative management models: Deming Prize (Japan); European Quality Award Model (Europe); and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (USA). In addition, this paper illustrates several case studies using organisations known for their pioneering approaches to people management and which led them to win very prestigious quality awards and various international accolades. The paper concludes by reinforcing the point that human resource management in a healthcare context has to be viewed as an integrated set of processes and practices which need to be adhered to from an integrated perspective in order to optimise individuals’ performance levels and so that the human potential can be exploited fully.



Zairi, M. (1998), "Managing human resources in healthcare: learning from world class practices ‐ part I", Health Manpower Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 48-57.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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