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Healthcare succession management: are we ready?

Jerry D. VanVactor (U. S. Army Medical Service Corps, Thousand Oaks, California, USA)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 11 May 2015




The purpose of this paper is to present practicing management professionals with a model related to succession management and planning.


Using a review of existent literature, this work examines and expounds upon the impact of succession management and planning as a potential genesis of, and an opportunity to mitigate, organizational problems related to senior executive turnover.


This manuscript presents a succession management and planning model for practicing professionals that is based on three key tenets: first, a plan (of some sort) is necessary for corporate resilience and sustainability; second, an organization has in inherent responsibility and need to plan for replacements and prioritize allocation of resources; and third, succession management planning aids in the establishment of organizational resilience and stability amid contingencies.

Practical implications

This work examines how, ultimately, succession management and planning is a means to risk/crisis management aimed at reducing gaps and associated problems related to changes among human capital distribution.

Social implications

While this work is written with emphasis placed upon managing transition among healthcare organizations and personnel, the information is equally relevant and applicable to a broader audience. In an applied sense, this model provides management professionals with concepts related to orchestrating change at both the individual and organizational levels.


While there is a dearth of literature examining succession management in a variety of industries, little information is directed specifically toward healthcare. This manuscript provides concepts related to effective risk mitigation via defined succession management and planning.



Jerry D. VanVactor, DHA, is an active duty healthcare administrator within the US Army’s Medical Service Corps. The views expressed in this work are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.


VanVactor, J.D. (2015), "Healthcare succession management: are we ready?", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 107-122.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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