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Book cover: Advances in Health Care Management

Advances in Health Care Management

ISSN: 1474-8231
Series editor(s): Dr. Leonard H. Friedman, Dr. Jim Goes, Professor Grant T. Savage

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Sustaining High Performance: Dynamic Balancing in an Otherwise Unbalanced System


Document Information:
Title:Sustaining High Performance: Dynamic Balancing in an Otherwise Unbalanced System
Author(s):Jason A. Wolf
Volume:10 Editor(s): Jason A. Wolf, Heather Hanson, Mark J. Moir, Len Friedman, Grant T. Savage ISBN: 978-0-85724-709-4 eISBN: 978-0-85724-710-0
Citation:Jason A. Wolf (2011), Sustaining High Performance: Dynamic Balancing in an Otherwise Unbalanced System, in Jason A. Wolf, Heather Hanson, Mark J. Moir, Len Friedman, Grant T. Savage (ed.) Organization Development in Healthcare: Conversations on Research and Strategies (Advances in Health Care Management, Volume 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.367-384
DOI:10.1108/S1474-8231(2011)0000010027 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:

As Ovid said, “There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent.” It is this very premise that frames the discoveries in this chapter and the compelling paradox it has raised. What began as a question of how performance is sustained, unveiled a collection of core organizational paradoxes. The findings ultimately suggest that sustained high performance is not a permanent state an organization achieves, but rather it is through perpetual movement and dynamic balance that sustainability occurs.

The idea of sustainability as movement is predicated on the ability of organizational members to move beyond the experience of paradox as an impediment to progress. Through holding three critical “movements” – agile/consistency, collective/individualism, and informative/inquiry – not as paradoxical, but as active polarities, the organizations in the study were able to transcend paradox, and take active steps to continuous achievement in outperforming their peers. The study, focused on a collection of hospitals across the Unites States, reveals powerful stories of care and service, of the profound grace of human capacity, and of clear actions taken to create significant results. All of this was achieved in an environment of great volatility, in essence an unbalanced system. It was the discovery of movement and ultimately of dynamic balancing that allowed the organizations to in this study to move beyond stasis to the continuous “state” of sustaining high performance.


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