Transformation or change: some prescriptions for health care organizations

Steven H. Appelbaum (Steven H. Appelbaum is based at the Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.)
Lee Wohl (Lee Wohl is based at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Publication date: 1 October 2000


The powerful forces that are transforming healthcare can generate enormous economic potential for those who are able to employ effective survival techniques in the short term and at the same time plan for success in the long term. To accomplish this, an organization must harness the forces driving transformation and use them to its advantage. Despite the best efforts of senior healthcare executives, major change initiatives often fail. Change threatens the very stability and continuity that managers are attempting to control; therefore change and managers are not natural partners. Even managers aware of the need to change resist the parts that appear too major, too risky, or too “different”. This understanding of change, transformation and reinvention are crucial for all health‐care organizations moving forward at turbulent speeds. Change has its problems and successes are not abundant. This article will examine change strategies; their failures and successes; the role of the leader in this process; overcoming barriers and resistance, key steps to succeed in change efforts and, finally, alternative strategies to build the change process.



Steven H. Appelbaum and Lee Wohl (2000) "Transformation or change: some prescriptions for health care organizations", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 10 No. 5, pp. 279-298

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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