Last Updated 15 Oct 2020

Change Management within a Healthcare Organization – Organizational Restructure

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The issue that we have chosen to discuss under the category of change management within a healthcare organization is that of an organizational restructure. However, before we are able to completely understand and integrate analysis and discussion of the factors affecting organizational restructure and what are the specific management issues that must be taken into consideration, we must first be able to understand not only what an organizational structure is, but also the essential frameworks in understanding exchange, application, and evolution in many kinds of industries today.

Basically, an organizational structure is a concept of hierarchy of superiors and subordinates -- usually within business environments but could also cover and military applications -- in order that there would be a specific collaboration and process in achieving the mission and goal of the organization. However, because of the many kinds of organizations, and because there is no conceivable way in order to completely make a single template that would be available for all kinds of organizations, organizational structures vary from one company to another.

The healthcare organization that we have chosen is no different. Since the structure of a healthcare organization is set up in a different style as compared to other organizations, specific organizational structure rules and guidelines -- as well as types and frameworks -- usually applied to these kinds of setups. Specifically, for the healthcare organization that we are taking into consideration, the most important aspect is the allocation of responsibilities and the various different functions of human resources, units, and departments of the different entities within such a healthcare firm.

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The management literature covering the discussion of organizational structures and organizational change and development have a rich discussion of organizational structure types and the way they operate. However, covering these recent studies for the scope of our paper would not anymore be efficient because we would fill volumes and volumes of pages. However, what is important to indicate is that the management theory reflects general categories of organizational structures that have the different kinds of organizational structures fall within these categories.

There are organizational structures which are bureaucratic, including a pre-bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic structure, organizational structures which has been developed according to function, and even recently, a matrix method of organizing human resources and departments of companies in order to maximize profits through the overlapping duties of employees and other such units (Fletcher, 2001) . Other factors in the discussion and literature of organizational structures include the kind of hierarchy, the centralization of reporting, transparency, and other reliability and shared responsibility measures.

In this paper, we would be trying to indicate the various management issues that are expected to occur in an organizational restructure within a healthcare organization. The framework which we shall use his economics and analytical management in considering such management issues to the planning, implementation, evaluation, and sustaining the change in organizational structure of the company (Barber & Martin, 2001). The first step that must be taken into consideration is the planning process and phase of an organizational change.

In the planning phase of a restructure of the organization's hierarchy, method, and type, large focus must be given to how to actually go along with such change management issues and methods. Of course, if, in the first place, a robust methodology could not be arrived at, then there is the danger of not being able to go through with the change management procedure in the first place -- which would involve not only monetary costs for the research, but also efficiency losses from the perspective of opportunity cost in not being able to go through with the change management procedure (Uhlenbruck, Meyer, & Hitt, 2003).

In fact, there is wide literature concerning business process reengineering which explores the various methods of undergoing an organizational restructure (Norrish & Rundall, 2001). For a healthcare organization, the planning process must be able to make use of all of the various human resources and they are specific duties so that the planning phase may be able to have an accurate organizational restructure procedure that indicates an efficient way for subordinates to report to those higher up the organizational healthcare ladder (Norrish & Rundall, 2001).

We must remember that unlike business, healthcare management is essential with respect to subordinates and reporting because of the dangerous balance that must be taken from the point of view of bureaucracy and the responsibility of saving lives and addressing healthcare issues.

Also, in the planning phase, the formulation of the future organizational structure must take into consideration that there are many kinds of specializations involved in a healthcare organization, and one cannot conceivably be able to classify employees into a few general categories, but rather have to understand their various specializations and what's human resources should fall under the command of another (Norrish & Rundall, 2001).

A barrier to change that would eventually be experienced by managers that would implement the organizational restructure or those who would be against it. We must remember that specifically, in a healthcare organization, it is not very often that the organizational structure changes because traditional methods influenced both by culture and perceived deficiencies are generally robust. However, in a healthcare organization, recent technologies and innovations eventually would require some sort of organizational structure to another (Laschinger, Finegan, Shamian, & Casier, 2000).

Change literature suggests that the best way to do this is through a gradual process of change in order for there to be minimal barriers with respect to inefficiencies that would be eventually brought by change management -- which in the long run would also be corrected by economies of scale -- as well as complete dissemination of information as to what kind of organizational structure change would occur.

Also, there must be an implementation of consistency and related this to the previous organizational structure to the current one. Further barriers to management change would also be encountered after the implementation especially if there are large differences between the previous organizational structure and the new one. Human beings are creatures of habit, and organizational structures are deeply embedded habits within a healthcare organization.

An issue that managers should remember is that there is indeed a gradual process that is involved in change management and could not easily be corrected immediately, but rather requires time for adaptation {Citation}. Literature on the subject reflects that organizational restructuring eventually brings out longer and efficiency. However, before such optimal efficiency is meant -- as the ones that have originally been planned by change managers and those will have suggested such organizational restructure change -- there must be an adjustment.

Which varies from one company and organization to another. Therefore, in a healthcare organization which is a fast-paced industry, organizational restructure requires that time is allocated both in the education and continuous training of human resources within the organization in order for them to get used to the new organizational structure (Filatotchev et al. , 2003).

In line with this discussion, and as has been pointed out in class in the discussion of organizational structure change, there are specific phases and stages and the change that could generally categorize the way human resources and individual departments except the new organizational plan and process. Included in these phases and stages are the early points where there is larger systems -- especially those who would be demoted to further hierarchy in the process of doing their responsibilities (McKinley & Scherer, 2000).

Evaluation methods in a healthcare organization after an organizational restructure has been achieved may be done through different means. Although traditional methods included the opinions and outputs related measurements, new statistical measures such as t-tests for difference and regression analysis may be implemented in order to see if such organizational change has indeed been more efficient as compared to previous organizational structure models.

To sustain such organizational restructure in the long run, similar tests and evaluation procedures have to be constantly made and there is even room for small modifications within the organizational structure if researchers and those that would be evaluating the new organizational structure would discover that there are minor inefficiencies that have not been expected by those who have originally formulated the plan for organizational restructure (Gumport, 2000).

In fact, there is also literature reflecting that organizational restructure is not always successful and these literature have identified various variables on why such organizational restructuring fails (Lindbeck & Snower, 2000).

For the recommendation part of this paper, considering that the industry that we are discussing falls under the classification of a healthcare organization, change literature as indicated that in such human resource intensive operations that continuously interact with innovations in technology, as well as overlapping disciplines in the field, decreasing the hierarchy of an organizational structure -- and even up to the point of transforming it into a matrix organization -- may be able to make it more efficient because of the non-specification of skills to single human resources and departments.

One may be able to make use of this matrix organizational structure together with timing frameworks and efficiency scheduling in order to maximize such organizational restructure for the benefit of this healthcare company. References Barber, K. S. , & Martin, C. E. (2001). Dynamic reorganization of decision-making groups. In Proceedings of the fifth international conference on Autonomous agents (pp. 513-520). ACM New York, NY, USA. Filatotchev, I. , Wright, M. , Uhlenbruck, K. , Tihanyi, L. , & Hoskisson, R. E. (2003). Governance, organizational capabilities, and restructuring in transition economies.

Journal of World Business, 38(4), 331-347. Fletcher, C. E. (2001). Hospital RNs' Job Satisfactions and Dissatisfactions. Journal of Nursing Administration, 31(6), 324. Gumport, P. J. (2000). Academic restructuring: Organizational change and institutional imperatives. Higher Education, 39(1), 67-91. Laschinger, H. K. S. , Finegan, J. , Shamian, J. , & Casier, S. (2000). Organizational Trust and Empowerment in Restructured Healthcare Settings: Effects on Staff Nurse Commitment. Journal of Nursing Administration, 30(9), 413. Lindbeck, A. , & Snower, D. J. (2000).

Multitask learning and the reorganization of work: From tayloristic to holistic organization. Journal of Labor Economics, 18(3), 353-376. McKinley, W. , & Scherer, A. G. (2000). Some unanticipated consequences of organizational restructuring. Academy of Management Review, 735-752. Norrish, B. R. , & Rundall, T. G. (2001). Hospital Restructuring and the Work of Registered Nurses. Milbank Quarterly, 79(1), 55. Uhlenbruck, K. , Meyer, K. E. , & Hitt, M. A. (2003). Organizational transformation in transition economies: resource-based and organizational learning perspectives. Journal of Management Studies, 40(2), 257-282.

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