A Case Study on Hammond Hospital

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Hammond General Hospital is a 334 bed general hospital located in a Mid-western town of 45000 and serves a countrywide population of approximately 140,000. Recently the board of directors at Hammond awarder the management contract of the Food Service Department to an outside company, Master Host Company. Master Host appointed Dave Smith as director of food service. It must be noted that this is the first time in the hospitals history that someone outside the hospital has been appointed as director of a department.

The Problem:

Hammond General Hospital, especially the food service department wasn’t the best example for management, in fact there is none. There is no organizational hierarchy, a viable job-structure but there is a lot of inter-personal conflict. So when Dave Smith was appointed as Director of the Department, he was met with resistance from almost every staff member. To change the situation Dave Smith and his assistant Doris Horn need to find a way to make the food service department up and running in an efficient manner, while keeping the morale of the staff members up.

Analyzing Case Data:

There were a number of reasons why the staff members were not co-operative to the new director. Firstly the post of Dave Smith was held by a female and she was also an R.D. So the nurses were a little reserved seeing a man taking the job. Smith also met with resistance from Pat Stone, as she was the acting director for 6 months and also a registered RD. She thought that she should have the post of Director. The board of directors was also having second thoughts after their decision to give contract to an outside company was greeted with hostility.

But the main problem in Hammond Hospital laid in management. There was no managerial system there. The department was over-staffed, department morale was low, the quality of food was poor, there were no performance evaluations, and there was really no systematic procedures or planning when it came to ordering food. The department didn’t try to solve these issues and the staff simply blamed one another.


In Hammond General Hospital there was a clear lack of hierarchy and a functioning organizational structure. So it was very important to set up an organizational structure consisting of activities such as task allocation, coordination and supervision, which are directed towards the achievement of organizational aims. It can also be considered as the viewing glass or perspective through which employees saw Hammond General Hospital and its environment.

Top-level officials at Hammond General Hospital resorted to Mcgregors Theory X when it came to deducting organizational behavior. So we would have implemented Theory Y where work is treated as a natural activity and assume that people are capable of self-direction and self-control if they are committed to objectives.

In order to successfully implement Theory Y we would have been needed to set an objective to all the workers and declare rewards for those who would complete the objectives within a given time.

Given the situations at Hammond General Hospital it would probably have been best to departmentalize by Hybrid Approach. Rather than limiting ourselves to just one departmentalization strategy, we could use a number of approaches.


Hammond General Hospital is one of the largest employers in the city. The administrative team is young and aggressive. If given proper guidance and under a good management there is every chance the situation at Hammond general hospital will improve drastically.

Why do you think this situation developed as it did?

During 1985, the situation of the Food Service Department of Hammond General Hospital was facing the lowest standard. According to the relief supervisor Sheila Rafferty, “This place is a zoo.” The head cook Millie Park’s view was – “I have been here for twenty years and this place gets worse every year. Ed Norton of...
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