Intra-organizational dynamics as drivers of entrepreneurship among physicians and managers in hospitals of western countries.

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During the past decade, entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector has become increasingly important. The aging society, the continuous stream of innovative technologies and the growth of chronic illnesses are jeopardizing the sustainability of healthcare systems. In response, many European governments started to reform healthcare during the 1990s, replacing the traditional logic of medical professionalism with business-like logics. This trend is expected to continue as many governments will have to reduce their healthcare spending in response to the current growing budget deficits. In the process, entrepreneurship is being stimulated, yet little is known about intra-hospital dynamics leading to entrepreneurial behavior. The purpose of this article is to review existing literature concerning the influence of intra-organizational dynamics on entrepreneurship among physicians and managers in hospitals of Western countries. Therefore, we conducted a theory-led, systematic review of how intra-organizational dynamics among hospital managers and physicians can influence entrepreneurship. We designed our review using the neo-institutional framework of Greenwood and Hinings (1996). We analyze these dynamics in terms of power dependencies, interest dissatisfaction and value commitments. Our search revealed that physicians' dependence on hospital management has increased along with healthcare reforms and the resulting emphasis on business logics. This has induced various types of responses by physicians. Physicians can be pushed to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude as part of a defensive value commitment toward the business-like healthcare logic, to defend their traditionally dominant position and professional autonomy. In contrast, physicians holding a transformative attitude toward traditional medical professionalism seem more prone to adopt the entrepreneurial elements of business-like healthcare, encouraged by the prospect of increased autonomy and income. Interest dissatisfaction and competing value commitments can also stimulate physicians' entrepreneurship and, depending on their relative importance, determine whether it is necessity-based or opportunity-driven
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-800
JournalSocial science & medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-286740
  • IR-80882


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