Purpose – The aim of this paper is to illustrate and discuss how healthcare organisations can act as institutional entrepreneurs in a context of change. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted an in‐depth longitudinal case study (2005‐2008) of a healthcare organisation in the province of Quebec, Canada. Data collection consisted of real‐time observations of senior managers ( n =87), interviews ( n =24) with decision‐makers and secondary data analysis of documents. Findings – The paper reports on the extent to which entrepreneurial healthcare organisations can be a driving force in the creation of a new practice. The authors analyse the development of a diabetes reference centre by a healthcare organisation acting as an institutional entrepreneur that illustrates the conceptualisation of an innovation and the mobilisation of resources to implement it and to influence other actors in the field. The authors discuss the case in reference to three stages of change: emergence, implementation and diffusion. The results illustrate the different strategies used by managers to advance their proposed projects. Research limitations/implications – This study helps to better understand the dynamics of mandated change in a mature field such as healthcare and the roles played by organisations in this process. By adopting a proactive strategy, a healthcare organisation can play an active role and strongly influence the evolution of its field. Originality/value – This paper is one of only a few to analyse strategies used by healthcare organisations in the context of mandated change.
Journal of Health Organisation and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 11, 2014
Keywords: Canada; Healthcare; Management strategy; Organisational theory; Leaders; Change process