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  • Marketing Strategy and Organisational Strategy:

    A Study of Regional Private Hospitals

    A dissertation submitted by

    Tiana Maree Gurney

    BBus (Hons)

    For the award of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    School of Management and Marketing

    Faculty of Business

    University of Southern Queensland

    2009

  • Page | i

    Abstract

    This study has focused on marketing strategy and organisational strategy in the

    context of regional private hospitals located in southern Queensland and northern

    New South Wales. It expands on the body of knowledge by formulating

    propositions that examine the relationship between marketing strategy and

    organisational strategy.

    By employing theoretical concepts of marketing strategy and organisational strategy,

    the study set out to answer the research question: How does marketing strategy

    influence organisational strategy in regional private hospitals? The results showed

    that an influential relationship between marketing strategy and organisational

    strategy does exist, that this influence derives from several concepts related to both

    strategy types, and that the interactions among these concepts are both complex and

    diverse.

    The research methodology used in this research consisted of a qualitative approach

    through case study research. Eight case studies were conducted on regional private

    hospitals — four in Queensland and four in New South Wales. Data were collected

    through semi-structured interviews with the strategic decision makers from each

    organisation. These decision makers consisted of the Chief Executive Officers,

    Directors of Nursing, administration and finance staff, and professional medical

    staff. The data collected were analysed using the qualitative analysis program

    Leximancer supported by additional content analysis.

    In the health care settings studied, influencing concepts were found to include the

    desire to provide quality health services, the role of the Director of Nursing in the

    organisation, strategic orientation perspectives held by staff at different levels in the

    organisation, patient management systems, and the formation and maintenance of

    positive relationships with key stakeholders through strategy communication.

    In terms of marketing strategy, the concepts that were most influential included

    word-of-mouth communication, doctor recruitment, community awareness,

    communication of services and organisation existence, positive reputation, medical

    specialty strategies, doctor relationships and retention, GP support, patients, private

    health insurance and government policy on private hospitals.

    This study found that strategy communication plays a particularly large role in the

    marketing strategy of regional private hospitals and includes both external strategy

    communication (physician and community relationships) and internal strategy

    communication (employee relationships).

    An exploration of a strategic orientation continuum and its application in health care

    was conducted during the course of this research. Findings indicated that when

    marketing strategy and organisational strategy are related to the strategic orientation

    continuum, CEOs and other strategic decision makers showed uncertainty and

    indecisiveness about various organisational characteristics.

  • Page | ii

    Certification of Dissertation

    I certify that the ideas, experimental work, results, analyses, software and

    conclusions reported in this dissertation are entirely my own effort, except where

    otherwise acknowledged. I also certify that the work is original and has not been

    previously submitted for any other award, except where otherwise acknowledged.

    _____________________________ _____________

    Signature of Candidate Date

    ENDORSEMENT

    _____________________________ _____________

    Signature of Supervisor Date

    _____________________________ _____________

    Signature of Supervisor Date

  • Page | iii

    Publications and Proceedings Arising

    From This Dissertation

    Gurney, T. 2007 ‗Marketing strategy, organisational strategy and organisational

    performance: a study of regional Queensland hospitals (poster)‘, ANZMAC Doctoral

    Colloquium 2007, 30 Nov - 2 Dec 2007, Dunedin, New Zealand. (Unpublished)

    Hopper, T., Erwee, R., & Hastings, K. 2007, ‗An investigation into the relevance of

    emerging marketing strategy in regional Queensland hospitals‘, Australian and New

    Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference Proceedings 2007: 3Rs

    Reputation, Responsibility & Relevance, 3-5 Dec 2007, Dunedin, New Zealand.

    Hopper, T. 2007 ‗Marketing strategy, organisational strategy and organisational

    performance: a study of Queensland‘s hospitals‘, ANZMAC Doctoral Colloquium

    2007, 30 Nov - 2 Dec 2007, Dunedin, New Zealand. (Unpublished)

    http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4060/ http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4060/ http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4054/ http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4054/ http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4059/ http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4059/

  • Page | iv

    Acknowledgements

    This dissertation and the work that I have accomplished over the past three years

    would not have been possible if it wasn‘t for my Christian faith and relationship with

    God. God has walked with me each step of the way and provided me with a basis on

    which to accomplish this task. He has listened to my concerns, celebrated with me

    in my successes, and answered countless prayers.

    To my husband Richard: we did the crazy thing and got married in the middle of the

    writing of this dissertation, but I would not have it any other way. Thank you for

    your never ending love, support, encouragement, and for listening to me even when I

    was not making any sense. I am extremely blessed to have you as my husband and I

    look forward to the many years we still have to come.

    My Dad, Mum and Jess you all have provided me with support and encouragement

    over the past three years, and I thank you for that. We are blessed to have a family

    that is as close as we are.

    Finally, I would like to thank my supervisors Professor Ronel Erwee and Dr Michael

    Mills. Thank you for guiding me through this process; thank you for your patience

    and encouragement as I strived to understand the different areas of this dissertation

    and its topic.

  • Page | v

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 Background to research .............................................................................................. 1

    1.4 Research question ...................................................................................................... 2

    1.5 Justification of research .............................................................................................. 4

    1.8 Outline of dissertation ................................................................................................. 6

    1.9 Definitions ................................................................................................................... 7

    1.10 Delimitations of scope ............................................................................................. 8

    1.11 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 10

    Chapter 2 Literature review ................................................................................................ 11

    2.1 Chapter overview ...................................................................................................... 11

    2.2 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 11

    2.3 Strategy-making ........................................................................................................ 13 2.3.1 Strategy development ...................................................................................... 16 2.3.2 Quality management and improvement ........................................................... 18 2.3.3 Strategic consensus ......................................................................................... 20 2.3.4 Corporate and business level strategy ............................................................. 21 2.3.5 Deliberate and emergent strategy .................................................................... 22 2.3.6 Strategy development at different organisational levels .................................. 25 2.3.7 Organisational strategy .................................................................................... 26

    2.3.7.1 Scope and mission .................................................................................. 26 2.3.7.2 Strategic synergy/fit ................................................................................. 28

    2.4 Underlying theoretical models in marketing strategy and organisational strate

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