Abstract for: Facilitating Bottom-Up Knowledge to Support Decision-Making in Long-term Healthcare Providers

Service output in healthcare organisations and especially in long-term care depends on collaborative efforts of frontline workers, management and the customers. However, the top-down style of management in traditional service organisations discourages participation of employees, customers and other stakeholders in decision making. Senior management of healthcare service organisations and policy makers need tools that will facilitate the collaborative input and will help them produce long-term policies shaped by evidence in order to tackle the causes of the problems and not the symptoms. The case study, set in a healthcare service provider in the Netherlands, illustrates that cognitive mapping and qualitative system dynamics techniques can be meaningfully combined to promote stakeholders representation in managerial decision making. Service experiences in long-term care are often intangible as they are the outcomes of interactions between organisations, the employees and the customers. They depend on soft factors like staff motivational levels, abilities and traits, role perceptions and management support. The study demonstrated that long-term healthcare service providers can improve their efficiency if they improve collaboration with the frontline workers and the customers with the help of the methodology, which allows generating structured presentation of mental models of the key stakeholders appropriate for managerial decision making.