Adopting a Management Innovation in a Professional Organization - The Case of Improvement Knowledge in Healthcare
Journal article, 2015
The purpose of this paper is to study critical practices when adopting improvement knowledge as a management innovation in a professional organization.
This article is based on an action research approach, in which practitioners and researchers are seen as a part of a participative community generating actionable knowledge. Research involved gathering data over a five-year period through more than 250 interviews and 25 focus groups.
This paper identifies five critical practices for adopting a management innovation in a professional context: (1) focusing on labeling and theorizing to create an organization’s own vocabulary; (2) focusing on the role of internal change agents; (3) allowing for an evolutionary adoption process; (4) building new professional competence through the change agents; (5) and adopting a research-driven approach to the adoption of a management innovation.
For healthcare practitioners, this paper points to practices to consider when adopting improvement knowledge – for example, identifying the patient as the guiding principle and encouraging involvement and local change initiatives. For practitioners in other professionally driven organizations, this paper identifies critical practices for adopting a management innovation – for example, focusing on theorizing and labeling in order to create an organization’s own vocabulary related to the professional context.
On a generic level, this paper contributes to the understanding of critical aspects when adopting management innovations in a professional organization. In a healthcare context, this paper points to the value of improvement knowledge for improving quality of care. Improvement knowledge is relatively new in healthcare, and this study provides an example of a hospital in which this management innovation helped transform the organization.