Consider the following Hill Country Community Hospital case study:
Hill Country Community Hospital is a 100-bed acute-care facility in rural Texas. The hospital has served the local community for over 40 years but has experienced a financial decline over the past 3 years. Hospital administrators believe that the best way to cut costs is to terminate all contracts with staff physicians and allow a large, Dallas-based physician group to take over in-hospital patient care. The move would quickly solve the current budget crisis, even enabling the hospital to show a profit for the fiscal year.
However, community residents are strongly opposed to the plan, as they have always been accustomed to receiving in-hospital care from their family physicians. The proposed move is creating public relations problems, with both external and internal audiences.
Employees are also highly resistant to the change, as they fear that their jobs may also be outsourced and that bringing in outsiders to provide patient care will ruin the hospital’s reputation. This is creating emotional labor, poor morale, and increased patient complaints.
As resistance is a natural phenomenon, understanding and working with it effectively is key to successful organizational consultation. It is essential for the OD practitioner or consultant to recognize and deal with resistance that is derived from psychological needs and wants. There are also elements that have been shown to stimulate “normal” resistance and therefore should also be considered during the consultation process.
Review this week’s Learning Resources. Consider sources of resistance to change and strategies for overcoming resistance to change.
Reflect on the scenario of the Hill Country Community Hospital, outlined above, considering the concepts covered in this week’s Learning Resources. Hill Country Hospital is a rural hospital facing financial and public relations problems.
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