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International Business

Network forms of organizing in healthcare: evidence from the Italian NHS

Dr Daniele Mascia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore ALTEMS - Graduate School of Health Economics and Management

20th Feb 2013  12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building


In healthcare, more than in other industries, the enhancement of individual, organizational and system-level outcomes is strongly related to how and the extent to which a wide range of specialized actors communicate, share knowledge and continuously coordinate their activities. Exploring the structure and dynamics of such interdependences is of quintessential importance for a more nuanced understanding of healthcare behaviors and outcomes. The adoption of a relational framework and the use of social network analysis enable researchers to expand their analytical perspective, investigating relationships among actors other than actors themselves. To discuss how promising the application of the relational perspective in this sector could be, a number of empirical studies conducted in the Italian NHS will be presented. A first study is intended to show how inter-physician networks across levels of care relate to the frequency with which clinicians use Evidence-Based Medicine in clinical practice. A second study focuses on patient sharing networks among hospitals, exploring how patterns of coordination evolve over time as well as the effect they produce on organizational performance. A third study provides evidence of the role that professional, organizational and institutional factors play in defining patterns of adoption of a medical technology within hospitals. How social network analysis tools and techniques may inform future research directions in professional-based fields will be discussed.


Daniele Mascia is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Theory and Management in the Department of Public Health and Healthcare Management at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome (Italy). In 1999 he received a BA degree in economics (cum laude) from LUISS University (Rome, Italy). In 2004 he obtained a PhD in Health Care Policy and Management from the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome (Italy). His publications focus on how, at different levels of analysis, networks forms of organizing influence a number of behaviors and innovation outcomes in the biomedical sector and healthcare. He received a number of awards and distinctions from, among others, the Health Care Management Division of Academy of Management. He is responsible for the "Strategy and innovation" area of the Catholic University Graduate School of Health Economics and Management (ALTEMS).


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