Managing and organising healthcare


Great challenges face the organisation of care and health services in relation to the requirement to reduce costs. Increased productivity and efficiency have therefore been highly prioritised in recent decades. Simultaneously, increased expectations exist for access to high-quality care and new medical technology while there are also more and more elderly and those with multiple illnesses.

Healthcare managers have, as a result of sociopolitical, economic, and demographic changes, faced the need to reorganise and develop their organisations. There are, however, several problematised areas that affect success and sustainability. Development work is, for example, strongly affected by trends and management models that are not adapted to the healthcare arena.  Application and adaptation do not always occur in concert with the healthcare professions’ quality development. Further, there is a gap between operative and strategic leadership with difficulties in transferring values and descriptions of problems. There is also a gap between the development work between different healthcare settings, meaning that some processes can work well within one but not another. One way to overcome these difficulties has been the implementation of values-based leadership. However, there is today a lack of evidence as to how this can sustainably occur in a way that addresses and integrates different perceptions of healthcare’s true values.

Leadership is essential for sustainable implementation and success in organisational development as well as for employees’ health and engagement with their work. Conditions for healthcare managers to lead and push for organisational development have, however, complex  demands with contradictory requirements, conflicts of legitimacy, dependencies, regulations, lack of resources, and the management of the integrity and ethics of strong professional groups.

Along with cost reductions, frequent reorganisations have lead till increased burnout and health problems among managers and workers. This development has made clear the need to see how organisational development can occur sustainably from a system perspective that includes quality of care, patient safety, work conditions and efficiency as well as from the perspectives of society, users, and workers. Research and knowledge development on sustainable leadership and organisation is undergoing vigorous development.

Our research on leadership and organisation of care and health services has a sustainability perspective that entails the integration and balancing of:

  • aspects (care quality/patient safety, work environment/work health, efficiency/resource use)
  • perspective (individual/patient/user, being a worker/manager/group, care context/organisation/society)
  • sustainability focus (aftercare, preventative and regenerative/health-promoting)

The research is developed and further developed through meetings with management, leaders, professionals, patients/users, and students. It has its focus on:

  • Implementation of sustainable care and organisational development with particular focus on care processes and the flow in the emergency process

Substudies on leadership, leadership strategies, transformation leadership, organisation, social capital, work conditions, and worker engagement and professional groups.

  • Health-promoting interventions, conditions, and strategies that make it possible for managers and workers to be engaged in their work over the long course of their working lives

Substudies on work engagement, health, and well-being, stress, pain, and sick leave

  • Values based and ‘open leadership and guiding’

Substudies on managers and media communication, internal and external communication, visualisation, leadership strategies

  •  Values based leadership in elder care

Substudies on managers’ ethical values, base profession, managers’ conditions and challenges, cooperation with users, user safety, as well as improvement, quality, and process development.