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Impact of a management innovation on professional subcultures – the case of a balanced scorecard implementation in a Chinese hospital

Tian Gao (Department of Planning and Finance, Jinan Central Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China and Australian Centre for Asian Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Bruce Gurd (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 24 June 2020

Issue publication date: 28 August 2020

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449

Abstract

Purpose

The balanced scorecard (BSC) has been a popular management innovation in health care. Implementing an innovation like the BSC can change the professional subcultures of a hospital. The purpose of this paper is to measure subcultures to establish the level of change during the implementation of a management innovation in a single Chinese public hospital.

Design/methodology/approach

Four surveys were administered to the staff of a single hospital, and a 100,000-word research diary was compiled from observation of the research process. A longitudinal case study design was administered from 2006 to 2009. The competing values tool was administered twice to assess organizational cultural change.

Findings

There was a change in the culture of different professional groups. The group with the strongest dominating culture type, which relies on cohesion, morale and employee participation in decision-making, shows the most positive change in cultural types during the BSC implementation process. Management innovations such as the BSC can create more balance in each professional group.

Practical implications

The successful implementation of a management innovation in a hospital requires the managers to consider meeting the demand of medical professional groups and achieve desired culture type change, which in turn may help to achieve the expected results.

Originality/value

This paper provides support to the finding that groups with a dominant group culture are more receptive to change and implementing a management innovation can influence professional group’s culture. It also provides evidence that the implementation of BSC can create more balance in each professional group’s culture. Although these findings come from health care, it may have relevance to other contexts in China.

Keywords

Citation

Gao, T. and Gurd, B. (2020), "Impact of a management innovation on professional subcultures – the case of a balanced scorecard implementation in a Chinese hospital", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 857-869. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-11-2019-0408

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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