Handbook of Healthcare Management

Handbook of Healthcare Management

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky

The Handbook of Healthcare Management is a comprehensive examination of key management practices for global healthcare organizations, arguing that insight into and implementation of these practices is essential for success and sustainability.

Chapter 11: Employee motivation

Stephen J. O’Connor, Nancy Borkowski and Ross Kemp

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, strategic management, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


Today’s healthcare managers in the USA are faced with numerous issues and challenges regarding how best to motivate organizational employees to alter their behaviors to meet the needs of a changing industry. Not too long ago, a manager’s major difficulty was balancing the motivational needs of generational differences in the workplace. Now the difficulties are more numerous and complex, due to various changes such as increasing physician employment, the use of multidisciplinary teams to deliver coordinated care to individuals and populations of patients, and the transformation of the industry to deliver patient-centered care with value-based outcomes. Moreover, managers need to understand the professional culture of physicians to minimize conflicts as they adjust into the employed workforce as well as develop an appreciation for the physicians’ motivational needs. Although the use of teams to accomplish organizational goals has been well established over the years, the use of cross-discipline teams composed of both clinicians and non-clinical administrators to deliver efficient and effective care is a relatively new concept in many healthcare organizations. Managers need to establish the right balance of incentives, feedback, and so on for teams to develop the needed cohesiveness to support the “right” delivery of care. Finally, the constant change being experienced throughout the industry has caused numerous challenges for managers to obtain the required behaviors from employees, who are facing higher levels of ambiguity, in order to effectively achieve the organization’s goals.

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