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Making service improvement happen: the importance of social context

McDermott, Aoife Mary and Keating, Mary A. 2012. Making service improvement happen: the importance of social context. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 48 (1) , pp. 62-92. 10.1177/0021886310388939

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Abstract

This article illustrates the importance of social context in generating positive service improvement outcomes. Empirically, the qualitative research is based on a multilevel approach to theorizing from context. It considers the dimensions of the social and task contexts constraining and enabling service improvement in three Irish hospitals. Cross-sector case comparison (public, voluntary/nonprofit, and private sector) is used to consider the influence of task context, while attention to in-organization arrangements is used to consider the social context. The authors identify the influence of the task context on service improvement capacity and the influence of the social context on service improvement climate. Crucially, by taking account of service improvement outcomes, the authors identify both (a) the relative importance of the social context and (b) the impact of contextual configurations, through which the social context can either countervail or enhance task context effects. The findings suggest that organizations should focus on developing their social contexts to augment service improvement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate; Context; Social; Hospital; Service improvement
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0021-8863
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:17
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/19391

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Cited 2 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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