The Seductive Allure of ‘Best Practices’: Improved Outcome is a Delicate Dance between Structure and Process

22 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2011 Last revised: 16 Sep 2012

Date Written: August 12, 2010

Abstract

In the drive to improve quality of care, a great deal of attention has been directed towards process improvement and identification and diffusion of best practices. An understanding of the history of best practice adoption in the manufacturing industry reveals its dependence upon the transfer of primarily explicit knowledge. When the task is highly context-dependent and involves tacit knowledge, the success drops. In healthcare, especially when dealing with complex problems and chronic disease, the intertwining of structure and process is necessary to produce positive outcomes. In such situations, best practices should serve as the starting point, not an end.

Keywords: Complexity, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Quality Improvement

JEL Classification: I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Gonnering, Russell S., The Seductive Allure of ‘Best Practices’: Improved Outcome is a Delicate Dance between Structure and Process (August 12, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1753308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1753308

Russell S. Gonnering (Contact Author)

The Medical College of Wisconsin ( email )

1780 SAN FERNANDO DR
ELM GROVE, WI WI 53122
United States
2627849556 (Phone)

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