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Increasing Dynamic Capabilities of Health Organizations with Social Media

Social Media in Strategic Management

ISBN: 978-1-78190-898-3, eISBN: 978-1-78190-899-0

Publication date: 26 August 2014



This research examines how social media helps increase the dynamic capabilities of health organizations. Using the concepts of “technical fitness” and “evolutionary fitness,” the research focuses on changes in: (1) the number of “likes”; (2) the amount of discussions in these pages; and (3) enabling factors for (1) and (2) over time.


Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) provides a sample of 164 hospitals. The Facebook pages of these hospitals are analyzed. Specifically, the number of “likes” and the amount of discussions are readily available for analysis. Data collection was conducted at two time points.


At time 1, 39% of the hospitals had an official Facebook page, increased to 47% at time 2. On average, there was a 22.2% increase in likes and a 4.0% increase in pages of discussions. Whether measured by staffs or patients’ capacity, size is a significant factor that contributes to the increase in likes and discussions. Yet, the location of a hospital — measured by urbanity — is statistically insignificant. Qualitative analyses suggest that certain patient groups particularly welcomed social media. Beside, pictures, videos, and “happy news” tended to increase usage of social media for hospital stakeholders.


Social media can help health organizations fulfill the social needs of their patients. This research applies several useful concepts. In further study, researchers may examine how hospitals optimize staffs’ and patients’ inputs. Besides, comparing how hospitals’ social media platforms operate differently in other states or countries may yield findings with practical implications.




This research has benefitted from a number of researchers and students at various stages. I especially thank Kalyan Pasupathy, Amit Prasad, and Jing Li for suggestions on an earlier draft. The audience in the Medicine 2.0 conference at Harvard Medical School in September 2012 also provided useful comments. The Mizzou Advantage Office at the University of Missouri (MU) provided support for undergraduate research assistance in the initial stage of this research. The Health Management and Informatics department at MU has provided salaried time for this research.


Leung, R.C. (2014), "Increasing Dynamic Capabilities of Health Organizations with Social Media", Social Media in Strategic Management (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 129-142.



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