The Work-Around Culture: Unintended Consequences of Organizational Heroes
Professor Anita Tucker shares findings from her research on the problems caused by "work-around cultures" in hospitals. Key concepts include:
- Work-around cultures are pervasive in health care.
- Frequent work-arounds can be costly and impair organizational effectiveness.
- There are benefits to work-arounds which can be compelling on the individual level.
- Organizational policies and managerial behavior create a culture for work-arounds or systemic problem solving.
- The solution to work-arounds is an improvement-oriented culture.
"Work-around cultures" are pervasive in health care. Employees tend to work around obstacles, often feeling like a hero in the process, without solving the underlying problems.
The reasons for these cultures are manifold, but they are costly in financial and human terms. The solution is an improvement-oriented culture built on manager responsiveness and problem-solving efficacy.