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Leading implementation of the management innovation value-based healthcare at a Swedish University Hospital

Journal article
Authors Kerstin Nilsson
Mette Sandoff
Published in Journal of Hospital Administration
Volume 6
Issue 1
Pages 51-59
ISSN 1927-6990
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 51-59
Language en
Keywords Leadership, Leadership characteristics, Leadership strategies, Management innovation, Value-based healthcare, Qualitative study
Subject categories Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy, Business Administration


Objective: The aim of this study is to explore medical and care staff’s experiences of leading the implementation of the management innovation, named value-based healthcare (VBHC) at a large Swedish University Hospital. Methods: In this study an explorative design was used. Data was collected with individual open-ended repeated interviews with 20 members of four teams leading the implementation of VBHC. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and qualitatively analysed. Results: Findings from this interview study showed that not all participants were comfortable with being appointed as leaders for the VBHC implementation process. Some found it rather too challenging instead. Participants described characteristics such as openness, visibility, approachability, and the ability to be a role model as necessary when leading implementation work. Leadership strategies emphasized were participation and involvement but also the ability to control implementation processes. Anchoring was effectuated by means of a pedagogical approach including dialogues and feedback before making step-by-step changes in everyday work itself. Conclusions: This study shows that leadership is a challenging experience in the context of a team responsible for implementing VBHC, however commendable the management innovation in itself may be. The expectations connected to the leadership role in the context of VBHC implementation must be clarified. Awareness is needed of the extent of the mandates accorded to the care and medical staff appointed as leaders of VBHC teams, especially since care and medical staff are formally speaking not as managers.

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