Institutional Purpose: Humanizing Health Care
Updated: Mar 25
The management of healthcare enterprises, by its nature of service, can be dysfunctional if it is to be plainly handled as a business proposition, rather than as a calling.
Businesses across the globe are experiencing rapid changes in the understanding of their core purpose and the manner in which they perform day-to-day operations, while embodying the same spirit. In this context, while successful iconic organizations persevere to make profits, they also focus on building enduring institutions. These companies are not mere instruments for generating money but, more importantly, believe in fulfilling a societal responsibility while also providing an engaging work experience and meaningful livelihood for the people who work for them. The premise of building an institution need not be in conflict with economic rationale; in fact, the two concepts need to be aligned and not even be subordinate to one another.
“Shared values is not a social responsibility, philanthropy or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success.“ – Michael Porter
Economic value and social value in an organization are not mutually exclusive terms. Also, economic rationality cannot be the only force governing performance and organizational behavior. Unfortunately, in a large number of companies, the importance of an institutional purpose and values are not well appreciated, where the dominant story is that only money counts. On the contrary, institutional values can actually drive positive emotions and stimulate motivation which, in turn, leads to better business results.
In companies that think of themselves as institutions, work is emotionally compelling as well as real meaning resides within the organization as a whole; no stakeholder gains to the detriment of the other, be it customers, investors, employees or vendors. Indeed, they all prosper together.