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Organizational health management through metaphor: a mission-based approach

Joseph M. Woodside (Department of Decision and Information Sciences, Stetson University, DeLand, Florida, USA)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 10 May 2018

Issue publication date: 17 May 2018




The purpose of this paper is to identify the underlying metaphors that hospitals use to establish their organizational mission. Metaphors impact the direction and managerial decision making of organizations, and provide a method to more easily communicate to a variety of stakeholders.


A text analytics process is run to evaluate the mission statements from the largest hospitals by revenue in each of the 50 states of the USA and District of Columbia to identify the types of metaphor-based organizational health management methods.


A cluster analysis is generated to evaluate primary mission-based metaphors, and metatriangulation is used to evaluate output, develop theory and provide practical implications for healthcare management.


Key contributions include a review of healthcare metaphors, an analysis for understanding commonly utilized metaphors, a theory building process for developing a new integrated value-based care management metaphor, and a value-based process is developed for providing healthcare managers an easy to follow and repeatable process for improving organizational communication.



Woodside, J.M. (2018), "Organizational health management through metaphor: a mission-based approach", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 374-393.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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