Previously published as: Journal of Management in Medicine
Online from: 2003
Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare
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|Author(s):||Richard C. Pees, (Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA), Glenda Hostetter Shoop, (Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA), James T. Ziegenfuss, (The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA)|
|Citation:||Richard C. Pees, Glenda Hostetter Shoop, James T. Ziegenfuss, (2009) "Organizational consciousness", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 23 Iss: 5, pp.505 - 521|
|Keywords:||Consciousness, Organizational analysis, Organizational identity|
|Article type:||Case study|
|DOI:||10.1108/14777260910984005 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual understanding of organizational consciousness that expands the discussion of organizational analysis, and use a case study to apply it in the analysis of a merger between an academic health center and a regional medical center.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the experiences and insights of scholars who have been exploring complex organizational issues in relationship with consciousness.
Findings – Organizational consciousness is the organization's capacity for reflection; a centering point for the organization to “think” and find the degree of unity across systems; and a link to the organization's identity and self-referencing attributes. It operates at three stages: reflective, social, and collective consciousness.
Research limitations/implications – Translating abstract concepts such as consciousness to an organizational model is complex and interpretive. For now, the idea of organizational consciousness remains mostly a theoretical concept. Empirical evidence is needed to support the theory.
Practical implications – Faced with complicated and compelling issues for patient care, health care organizations must look beyond the analysis of structure and function, and be vigilant in their decisions on where important issues sit on the ladder of competing priorities. Organizational consciousness keeps the organization's attention focused on purpose and unifies the collective will to succeed.
Originality/value – If the paper can come to understand how consciousness operates in organizations, and learn how to apply it in organizational decisions, the pay-off could be big in terms of leading initiatives for change. The final goal is to use what is learned to improve organizational outcomes.
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