Managing the Myths of Health Care

Bridging the Separations between Care, Cure, Control, and Community

Henry Mintzberg (Author)

Forthcoming: 04/14/2017

Managing the Myths of Health Care
Management giant Henry Mintzberg turns his attention to health care, arguing that many of the massive issues facing health care stem from the fact that it is not a cohesive system. To heal itself, health care must become less distant and opaque and more engaging and collaborative.Mintzberg begins in part 1 by confronting myths about health care, including the following:
We have a system of health care.
Health-care institutions can be fixed with more heroic leadership.
The health-care system can be fixed by more administrative engineering.
The health-care system can be fixed by more categorizing and commodifying to facilitate more calculating.
The health-care system can be fixed with increased competition.
Health-care organizations can be fixed by running them more like businesses.

Part 2 examines how health care is organized, in relation to what we know about differentiation, separation, and integration in organizations and systems in general. Mintzberg shows that in health care, the inclination has been to do an awful lot more differentiating than integrating. This has resulted in all sorts of excessive separations: curtains across the specialties, sheets over the patients, and walls and floors between the administrators. The favored form of organizing health care—the professional organization—is the source of its great strength as well as its debilitating weakness. 

Part 3 then offers guidelines to reframe the core components of health care: strategy, organization, scale, ownership, management, and the “system” itself. For example, managing has to be about care more than cure, and organizing has to favor communityship over leadership, collaboration over competition.

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Overview

Management giant Henry Mintzberg turns his attention to health care, arguing that many of the massive issues facing health care stem from the fact that it is not a cohesive system. To heal itself, health care must become less distant and opaque and more engaging and collaborative.Mintzberg begins in part 1 by confronting myths about health care, including the following:
We have a system of health care.
Health-care institutions can be fixed with more heroic leadership.
The health-care system can be fixed by more administrative engineering.
The health-care system can be fixed by more categorizing and commodifying to facilitate more calculating.
The health-care system can be fixed with increased competition.
Health-care organizations can be fixed by running them more like businesses.

Part 2 examines how health care is organized, in relation to what we know about differentiation, separation, and integration in organizations and systems in general. Mintzberg shows that in health care, the inclination has been to do an awful lot more differentiating than integrating. This has resulted in all sorts of excessive separations: curtains across the specialties, sheets over the patients, and walls and floors between the administrators. The favored form of organizing health care—the professional organization—is the source of its great strength as well as its debilitating weakness. 

Part 3 then offers guidelines to reframe the core components of health care: strategy, organization, scale, ownership, management, and the “system” itself. For example, managing has to be about care more than cure, and organizing has to favor communityship over leadership, collaboration over competition.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Henry Mintzberg

After studying mechanical engineering at McGill University, Henry Mintzberg worked in Operational Research at the Canadian National Railways before receiving his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He has been at the McGill University Faculty of Management ever since--in recent years as Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies--aside from visiting professorships at Carnegie Mellon University, Universite d'Aix-Marseille, Ecole des Hautes etudes commerciales of Montreal, London Business School, and Insead. He has also received fifteen honorary degrees from universities around the world.

Henry Mintzberg has received awards from prominent academic and practitioner associations, including the Academy of Management, the Strategic Management Society, and the Association of Management Consulting Firms. He was the first person from a management faculty named to the Royal Society of Canada, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada and l'Ordre national du Quebec.

He has been devoting much of his time in recent years to the development of a family of programs in which managers learn by reflecting in small groups on their own experience. These including the International Masters in Practicing Management (www.impm.org), and the International Masters for Health Leadership (www.imhl.info), and the Advanced Leadership Program (www.impm-alp.com). This led to the establishment of www.CoachingOurselves.com, which enables groups of managers to learn in this way and drive change in their own workplace.

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