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The shaping of inventory systems in health services: A stakeholder analysis

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  • de Vries, Jan
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    Although many studies have addressed the diagnosing and redesign of inventory systems in an industrial setting, the field of operations management seems to lack a thorough understanding of the process of shaping inventory systems in a health care setting. In this article, a contribution is made to fill this gap by exploring the process of reshaping a hospital inventory system of medicines by means of an exploratory case study. In doing so, we concentrate on the question how the outcomes of this process are affected by the different stakeholders involved. Our case study indicates that decisions made during this reshaping process are heavily influenced by the dynamics of the relationships and interactions between the stakeholders involved in the project. Based on our case study there are also some strong indications especially in a health care setting, the existence of multiple stakeholders having a multi-goal focus regarding the inventory system can have a strong influence on the outcomes of inventory projects. For project managers it is important to be aware of these characteristics and circumstances in order to help health service organisations to develop and use inventory systems more effectively.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 133 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (September)
    Pages: 60-69

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:133:y:2011:i:1:p:60-69
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    1. Novek, Joel, 2000. "Hospital pharmacy automation: collective mobility or collective control?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 491-503, August.
    2. Li, L. X. & Benton, W. C., 1996. "Performance measurement criteria in health care organizations: Review and future research directions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 449-468, September.
    3. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
    4. Stock, Gregory N. & McFadden, Kathleen L. & Gowen III, Charles R., 2007. "Organizational culture, critical success factors, and the reduction of hospital errors," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 368-392, April.
    5. Nicholson, Lawrence & Vakharia, Asoo J. & Selcuk Erenguc, S., 2004. "Outsourcing inventory management decisions in healthcare: Models and application," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 154(1), pages 271-290, April.
    6. Mónica Duarte Oliveira & Carlos Gouveia Pinto, 2005. "Health care reform in Portugal: an evaluation of the NHS experience," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(S1), pages 203-220.
    7. de Vries, Jan, 2005. "The complex relationship between inventory control and organisational setting: Theory and practice," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 273-284, January.
    8. Rabinovich, Elliot & Evers, Philip T., 2002. "Enterprise-wide adoption patterns of inventory management practices and information systems," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 389-404, November.
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