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Keywords

health care sector, institutional strategies, isomorphic pressures, knowledge creation

 

Authors

  1. Yang, Chen-Wei
  2. Fang, Shih-Chieh
  3. Huang, Wei-Min

Abstract

Background: Health care organizations are facing surprisingly complex challenges, including new treatment and diagnostic technologies, ongoing pressures for health care institutional reform, the emergence of new organizational governance structures, and knowledge creation for the health care system. To maintain legitimacy in demanding environments, organizations tend to copy practices of similar organizations, which lead to isomorphism, and to use internal strategies to accommodate changes. A concern is that a poor fit between isomorphic pressures and internal strategies can interfere with developmental processes, such as knowledge creation.

 

Purposes: The purposes of this article are to, first, develop a set of propositions, based on institutional theory, as a theoretical framework that might explain the influence of isomorphic pressures on institutional processes through which knowledge is created within the health care sector and, second, propose that a good fit between isomorphic pressures factors and health care organizations' institutional strategic choices will enhance the health care organizations' ability to create knowledge.

 

Method: To develop a theoretical framework, we developed a set of propositions based on literature pertaining to the institutional theory perspective of isomorphic pressures and the response of health care organizations to isomorphic pressures.

 

Findings: Institutional theory perspectives of isomorphic pressures and institutional strategies may provide a new understanding for health care organizations seeking effective knowledge creation strategies within institutional environment of health care sector.

 

Practice Implications: First, the ability to identify three forces for isomorphic change is critical for managers. Second, the importance of a contingency approach by health care managers can lead to strategies tailoring to cope with uncertainties facing their organizations.