Saturday, 30 November 2013

My second paper: "Why are healthcare services fuzzy?"

My second paper just got published in AMJ, an open access journal. Below the abstract and the link to the journal. Very excited to see this finally happen.

Why are healthcare services fuzzy?


Healthcare organisations are an enigma to many people in- and outside the service. Organisational fuzziness is a common state, characterised by a lack of clarity, lack of awareness, lack of organisational knowledge, and the reliance on practice and custom instead of transparency.
The objective of this study was to obtain a better understanding of what causes this fuzziness and provide an actionable description of fuzzy organisations. Such a description is essential to managing and preventing organisational fuzziness.
We used a longitudinal case study in an integrated health- and social care organisation to obtain a thorough understanding of how the organisation functions. These in-depth insights allowed the identification of three generators of fuzziness.
We found that the three main generators of organisational fuzziness are change, informal organisation and complexity. Organisational fuzziness is thus partly due to the inherent complexities of human systems. However, also continuous change and the inability of the system to adapt its formal structures resulted in structures deteriorating or no longer being appropriate.
Existing approaches to explain unclear or absent structures in healthcare organisations by describing these organisations as complex adaptive systems (CAS) are too simplistic. While aspects relating to people and their interactions are indeed complex, fuzziness of structural aspects are often the result of continuous change and insufficient organisational capacity to adapt to it.[]=1857