To study the organizational dynamics that either enable or inhibit the changes needed by the system for the ongoing organizational development of the major acute general public hospital in Malta.
The main public acute general hospital in Malta. Malta is the main island of a small archipelago in the Mediterranean with a total population reaching around 460 000.
This qualitative study utilized two major research methods: action research and in-depth interviews. Data collection and analysis were guided by the grounded theory paradigm and operated within a constructivist and informed grounded theory approach. The action research was conducted through the documentation and interpretation of a practitioner-researcher experience working within a multi-disciplinary hospital team consisting of up to 15 members from different healthcare professional groups. The in-depth interviews involved 25 interviewees using theoretical sampling techniques.
The findings affirmed the high potential and capabilities of the hospital workforce. This potential is nonetheless susceptible to be affected and gradually transformed by identified organizational and external forces into a workforce that is highly territorial, cynical and showing lack of ‘ownership’ of the organizational vision and objectives. The organizational culture, structures, systems and leadership as well as external factors that were frequently rooted at the national level were identified as strong impacting and underlying factors.
A theoretical framework was generated depicting a vicious circle that needs to be broken to enable the desired organizational development and learning. This additional knowledge can be used by and inspire other organizations operating within comparable conditions.