How well is the Shouldice Hospital doing?
From our point of view, Shouldice Hospital is very successful and is getting more popular. This can be concluded according to the following facts, which we took out of the “Shouldice Hospital Limited” case: -
“Under Dr. Obney’s leadership, the volume of activity continued to increase, reaching a total of 6,850 operations in the 1982 calendar year.” (p.2) -
“It was thought that most potential Shouldice patients learned about the hospital and its methods from past patients who had already experienced them.”(p.3) -
“During their stay, patients were encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to explore the premises and make new friends.” (p.5) -
“Patients sometimes ask to stay an extra day […]. They share experiences with other patients, make friends easily, and have the run of the hospital”. (p.5) -
“When I interview prospective surgeons, I look for experience and a good education. I try to gain some insight into their domestic situation and personal interests and habits.” (p.6) -
“Excellence is the enemy of good.” (p.6)
“Experience is most important. The typical general surgeon may perform 25 to 50 hernia operations per year. Our perform 600 or more.” (p.7) -
“Training in the Shouldice technique was important because the procedure could not be varied. It was accomplished through direct supervision by one or more of the senior surgeons.” (p.7) -
“The steps are designed specially with a small rise to allow patients recently operated on to negotiate the stairs without undue discomfort. Every square foot of the hospital is carpeted to reduce the hospital feeling and the possibility of all.” (p.8) -
“We don’t have an organization chart. A chart tends to make people think they’re boxed into jobs.” (p.9) -
“The hospital relied entirely on word-of-mouth advertising […]” (p.10) Shouldice Hospital is focused on good working conditions. It tries to meet people’s needs and makes the hospital as good of a place to work as possible; not only for the patients, but also for the members of the hospital staff: For example surgeons, assistants and nurses were rotated every few days or weeks that they get as much experience as possible. Furthermore each secretary is trained to do another’s work and in an emergency is able to switch to another function immediately. In spite of the fact that the pay scale for the staff is higher than the union scale for comparable jobs, there is also a high bonus pool and profit-sharing plan for all of the employees. The hospital also provides some free services for parents, who accompany their children and also provides free annual checkups for past patients. As a conclusion, Shouldice Hospital is doing well in capacity, service, quality, efficiency and performance. What performance exactly means and how you account performance will be answered in the next question.
How do you account for its performance?
To answer this question we looked at the literature of performance management and tried to relate the theoretical background with the information provided in the “Shouldice Hospital Limited” case material. In business literature several different approaches to performance exist. In organizational development, performance can be thought of as actual results vs. desired results. Any discrepancy, where actual is less than desired, could constitute the performance improvement zone. Performance management and improvement can be thought of as a cycle: 1.
Performance planning where goals and objectives are established. 2.
Performance coaching where a manager intervenes to give feedback and adjust performance. 3.
Performance appraisal where individual performance is formally documented and feedback delivered.
A performance problem is any gap between desired results and actual results. Performance improvement is any effort targeted at closing the gap between actual results and desired results. Other organizational development definitions are slightly...
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