PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore work motivation among professionals at well-functioning primary healthcare centers subject to a national healthcare reform which include financial incentives.Design/methodology/approachFive primary healthcare centers in Sweden were purposively selected for being well-operated and representing public/private and small/large units. In total, 43 interviews were completed with different medical professions and qualitative deductive content analysis was conducted.FindingsWork motivation exists for professionals when their individual goals are aligned with the organizational goals and the design of the reform. The centers’ positive management was due to a unique combination of factors, such as clear direction of goals, a culture of non-hierarchical collaboration, and systematic quality improvement work. The financial incentives need to be translated in terms of quality patient care to provide clear direction for the professionals. Social processes where professionals work together as cohesive groups, and provided space for quality improvement work is pivotal in addressing how alignment is created.Practical implicationsLeaders need to consistently translate and integrate reforms with the professionals’ drives and values. This is done by encouraging participation through teamwork, time for structured reflection, and quality improvement work.Social implicationsThe design of the reforms and leadership are essential preconditions for work motivation.Originality/valueThe study offers a more complete picture of how reforms are managed at primary healthcare centers, as different medical professionals are included. The value also consists of showing how a range of aspects combine for primary healthcare professionals to successfully manage external reforms.
Journal of Health Organisation and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 19, 2017