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Assignment Questions

Health care management

Your answer to each essay question should be complete approx. 200 words.

1. The text highlights the economic, political and social forces responsible for moving the health services system beyond the largely reactive acute care paradigm to a more holistic paradigm, emphasizing population-based wellness. These forces are causing a fundamental shift in the way health care is viewed. Compare and contrast the major elements of this “transformation” of health care. In your opinion, is this shift better for the patient or for the health care system? Explain your answer.
2. The processes that occur in health services organizations can be described in terms of six primary functions. Expound upon these six functions, detailing how each is vital to the organization. Do you think that the functions are equally important, or do you believe that one or more should be viewed as more vital than others? Explain your answer.
3. The national debate concerning health care reform and national health insurance provides one of many good issues for applying the open systems model and the resource dependence view of organizations. In your opinion, is health care a social good or an economic good? Support your view, reflecting on how the different managerial roles might support and have to apply these positions. If health care is a social good, then should we have a national health insurance plan that guarantees access? Why or why not?
4. Refer to the “IN PRACTICE” sections of Chapter Two, regarding “A Medical Center in Transition” from four different perspectives. Explain the managerial role and how it pertains to the changing environment of the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. Discuss the executive leadership challenges posed by the need to integrate and align the internal organization structure and culture at MHMH with the external environment. Explain the strategic context of organizational effectiveness, regarding the transformation of the MHMH and its implications for managerial action. Describe the simultaneous roles of managerial process management and executive leadership as this “new organization vehicle” takes shape.
5. Compare and contrast the four content theories/perspectives on motivation. As a health care manager, which theory/perspective would be most valuable to you, in motivating your employees? Which do you consider the least effective? Justify your answers
6. Compare and contrast the roles of management and leadership. Refer to the traditional, functional roles of managers: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. In your opinion, do these functions describe management or leadership? Explain your answer. Are effective managers always effective leaders? Why or why not? What types of traits, skills, knowledge, and abilities are necessary for the leadership role, as opposed to the management role?
7. Groupthink occurs when maintaining the atmosphere of the team implicitly becomes more important to members than reaching a good decision, and it is more likely to occur when there is an implicit avoidance of all conflict. These decisions can sometimes result in unethical or immoral consequences, an example of which was the Nazi mentality during World War II. Illustrate the difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict. Describe examples in which groupthink has led to decisions being made or actions being taken that were not in the best interest of the group—at the organizational level as well as governments and societies. What do you see as possible implications, when leaders discourage conflict of opinions?
8. As the newly hired manager of an Adult Day Care Center, you are also new in the community. Wanting to take an active roll and become involved in Eldercare issues, you attend a meeting of the local Mental Health and Aging Coalition, only to find yourself appointed as the leader of an existing team whose goal is the promotion of Elder Abuse awareness. How would you determine your team’s stage of development? Once you identify the stage of development, describe the strategies you would use to make the team more effective. Because of your “newness” to the situation/location, are there any strategies you might avoid? Why or why not?
9. Consider the effect diversity plays in the mix of members of a group–ethnicity, gender, skills, expertise, traits, abilities, and attitudes. Discuss the pros and cons of group diversity and the value of heterogeneous groups. Detail the benefits that diversity should bring to the group, and detail the problems that could also result from that diversity.
10. Given three positions in a health care organization–a food service worker, a nurse, and a physician–analyze each position in terms of how each would rate the motivating potential, based upon the five core job dimensions of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Generate ideas for improving the motivating potential for each position, based on the five core job dimensions.

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