Organizational Behavior and Culture – Health System Example

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"Organizational Behavior and Culture" is a wonderful example of a paper on the health system.   An organization is an assemblage of persons operating collectively to accomplish personal and institutional aspirations. Accordingly, organizational behavior studies how independent persons and groups of people carry out their duties in a given organization. According to Borkowski (2009) individual and collective activities have an effect on the functionality of the organization. In addition, each organization has its unique way of conduct, which is understood by each stakeholder. This universal understanding among members of a particular organization is termed as organizational culture. In healthcare delivery, organizational behavior, as well as the culture of the organization is a very important factor.

The way health care providers conduct themselves in relation to patients could establish the survival of the patient. The memorial hospital is an auxiliary member of the Memorial Health Systems, one of the leading healthcare providers in the U. S. At Memorial Hospital, medical practitioners are expected to have optimal efficiency while dealing with patients and colleagues. One of the core values at this hospital provision of excellent healthcare to patients, while focusing on the rights and wants of the patient.

However, in recent years the hospital has been plagued by customer complaints and lawsuits for neglect and substandard services. For example, between early 2007 and late 2008, the hospital was under pressure for the numerous cases filed against it in court. Most of the patients complained that they had been neglected by nurses, consequently developing bedsores (Cox, 2010). One patient even died in the admission room as he waited for a bed because no one had taken interest in his critical condition.

Top management at the hospital, however, insists that these are common cases in medical practice. In 1927, studies were conducted on workers at an electric company to determine their efficiency. These studies were carried out by Elton Maya and his team and came to be known as the Hawthorne studies. Interviews were conducted on employees to get them to speak about their frustrations. According to Kondalkar (2007), findings from the studies indicate that the way a person function is closely related to how they feel. If an individual is dissatisfied with some conditions at the organization, their productivity will decline.

At Memorial Hospital, for example, workers blamed the incidents on severe understaffing. Basically, there were too many patients to be cared for by very few staff. This led to the neglect and even death of some patients.   Hawthorne studies also indicated that the standards set by the organization determine how an individual performs. It is apparent that organizational culture at the memorial hospital is such that it is acceptable for medics to neglect patients. If not, the management would not refer to the incidents as common clinical incidents. Hawthorne studies indicate that employees need to be motivated to attain optimal output.

Fredrick Taylor’ s studies on organizational behavior agree with this notion but indicate that employees are motivated to work by the amount of money they are paid. If an employee is paid poorly, their productivity will be low. Hawthorne studies, on the contrary, showed that money was not an important incentive in positive worker output. In his theory X studies, Douglas McGregor emphasized that employees hate working, therefore, they have to be forced and controlled to work.

Although Hawthorne studies do not look at employees as lazy, the former implies that organizational culture determines how an employee works. According to a study by Kast and Rasenzwing on how systems function, parts of a system are dependent on each other and the actions of one affect all the others. Hawthorne studies concur with this by stating that an individual is significantly influenced by the actions of a group.


Borkowski, N. (2009). Organizational Behavior; Theory, and Design in Health Care.

Cox, J. (2010). Six lawsuits filed against Memorial Hospital over care. Retrieved from www. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.

Kondalkar, V. (2007). Organizational Behavior. New Delhi: New Age International publishers.

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