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Facilitating system-wide organizational change in health care

Anna Westerlund (Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden)
Rickard Garvare (Department of Business Administration, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)
Elisabet Höög (Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, AND, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden)
Monica Elisabeth Nyström (Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, AND, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to investigate the role of an intra-organizational change facilitating function (CFF) in relation to a multi-level development initiative in a health care organization. Involved actors’ views on factors in need of attention and how the CFF related to these factors were studied.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study design was used, combining data from questionnaires, process diaries and interviews with employees at the CFF, managers and clinic staff.

Findings

Factors on micro, meso and macro levels, crucial to attend to, were highlighted by respondents at staff and managerial levels. The CFF related to some of these factors by acting upon them, or by developing plans to handle them, while other factors were unattended to. The CFF activities also had indirect influence on other factors. The CFF role and responsibilities were not clearly defined beforehand, and a need to clarify a division of roles and responsibilities is highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

Our study contributes to current knowledge on facilitation of change by relating it to an organizational dimension of implementation.

Practical implications

The description of important factors to handle during a large organizational change process and issues a CFF can encounter may aid others involved in designing and managing large organizational development initiatives.

Originality/value

The study elaborates on less studied functions and roles of an intra-organizational CFF in relation to factors of vital importance for organizational change and development in health-care organizations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the study participants for sharing information and their experiences. This work was financed by the Vinnvård research program in Sweden [Grant no A2007034], with contributions from the Strategic Research Programme in Care Sciences at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå university, funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Citation

Westerlund, A., Garvare, R., Höög, E. and Nyström, M.E. (2015), "Facilitating system-wide organizational change in health care", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 72-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-01-2015-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited