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Arch Hellen Med, 31(4), July-August 2014, 452-460


Investigation of the organizational culture of general public hospitals

A. Goula,1 B. Kefis,2 A. Stamouli,1 G. Pierrakos,1 M. Sarris1
1Department of Health and Welfare Units Management, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens,
2Department of Public Administration, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE To analyze the current organizational culture of general public hospitals and investigate the model of culture that the hospital executives wish to see prevailing in the next 5-year period.

METHOD The survey was conducted in 20 general public hospitals of the region of Athens. The study sample consisted of 541 senior executives of the four departments of each hospital (medical, nursing, administrative, technical). The executives were asked to provide assessment using the organizational culture assessment instrument (OCAI), based on the competing values framework of Cameron and Quinn.

RESULTS The dominant organizational culture in the hospitals surveyed can be described by the "bureaucratic culture" model (47.05% of respondents). The "clan culture" came second (23.76%) and the "entrepreneurial-adhocracy culture" model and the "market culture" model scored 11.79% and 17.3%, respectively. The desired culture model, in contrast, was reported to be the clan culture or participatory model (31.11%), followed by the entrepreneurial-adhocracy culture model (25.08%), the market culture model (24.42%) and, least desirable, the bureaucratic culture model (19.4%).

CONCLUSIONS Currently, the general public hospitals are characterized by internal orientation, observance of rules and processes and a focus on control hierarchy, predictability and stability. The models of entrepreneurial-adhocracy culture and market culture, which both focus on the exterior macro-environment and growth for the hospital, record small percentages. As far as the future is concerned, hospital executives would like to see a change from the bureaucratic culture model of organization towards the participatory model, which would include elements of flexibility, creativity, dynamism and competitiveness that are inherent in the other two models, entrepreneurial-adhocracy and market. The focus appears to remain on the internal environment of the hospitals, but at the same time there is evidence of a wish to look also into the external environment of hospital.

Key words: Models of culture, Organizational change, Organizational climate, Organizational culture, Public hospitals.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine