Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Stress on the Ward – An Empirical Study of the Nonlinear Relationship between Organizational Workload and Service Quality

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ludwig Kuntz
  • Roman Mennicken

    ()

  • Stefan Scholtes

Abstract

We discuss the impact of organizational workload on professional service outcomes, such as survival rates in hospitals. The prevailing view in the literature is that service quality deteriorates when organizational workload increases. In contrast, we argue that the relationship between workload and service outcomes is nonlinear and that there is a quality-optimal workload level. Whilst outcomes deteriorate with increasing workload when workload levels are already high, they will improve if workload increases from a low level. We reach this hypothesis by combining three perspectives: (i) the queuing theory perspective, with its focus on congestion, (ii) a discretionary choice perspective, with a focus on decisions made by professionals in response to changes in workload, and (iii) an endocrinological perspective, with a focus on the subconscious eff ects of workload on worker performance through the cognitive impact of stress hormones. Using a patient census of 1.4 million patients in 624 departments across 101 hospitals, we provide empirical support for the nonlinearity hypothesis in the context of hospital survival rates. We further discuss the implications for hospital capacity planning and the wider implications for service operations management.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://repec.rwi-essen.de/files/REP_11_277.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0277.

as in new window
Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0277

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Hohenzollernstraße 1-3, 45128 Essen
Phone: (0201)8149-0
Fax: (0201)8149-200
Email:
Web page: http://www.rwi-essen.de/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.rwi-essen.de/publikationen/

Related research

Keywords: Service quality; service outcomes; organizational workload; hospital capacity planning; behavioral operations; stress;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Martin Gaynor & Harald Seider & William B. Vogt, 2005. "The Volume–Outcome Effect, Scale Economies, and Learning-by-Doing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 243-247, May.
  2. Diwas S. Kc & Christian Terwiesch, 2009. "Impact of Workload on Service Time and Patient Safety: An Econometric Analysis of Hospital Operations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(9), pages 1486-1498, September.
  3. McClellan, Mark & Noguchi, Haruko, 1998. "Technological Change in Heart-Disease Treatment: Does High Tech Mean Low Value?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 90-96, May.
  4. Michael S. Dahl, 2011. "Organizational Change and Employee Stress," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(2), pages 240-256, February.
  5. Robert S. Huckman & Gary P. Pisano, 2006. "The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 473-488, April.
  6. Patrick Royston & Willi Sauerbrei, 2007. "Multivariable modeling with cubic regression splines: A principled approach," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(1), pages 45-70, February.
  7. Wallace J. Hopp & Seyed M. R. Iravani & Gigi Y. Yuen, 2007. "Operations Systems with Discretionary Task Completion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(1), pages 61-77, January.
  8. Xiaofang Wang & Laurens G. Debo & Alan Scheller-Wolf & Stephen F. Smith, 2010. "Design and Analysis of Diagnostic Service Centers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(11), pages 1873-1890, November.
  9. Richard Williams, 2006. "Review of Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata, Second Edition, by Long and Freese," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(2), pages 273-278, June.
  10. Bar{\i}\c{s} Ata & Jan A. Van Mieghem, 2009. "The Value of Partial Resource Pooling: Should a Service Network Be Integrated or Product-Focused?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 115-131, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0277. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabine Weiler).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.