Details of Thesis

Title An Exploratory Descriptive Study of Mission Integration and Sustainability in a Not-for-Profit Australian Catholic hospital
Author Whelan, Monica
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2009
Abstract Literature indicates that the issues of mission, and mission integration and sustainability, are of importance in organisations, including Catholic hospitals. However, there is minimal research to inform and guide mission integration in organisations. The aim of the study was to identify aspects of mission integration in a not-for-profit Australian Catholic hospital from employees' perspectives. The research questions addressed: (1) the knowledge and experience of mission integration by current employees, (2) the issues, problems, barriers, and (3) strategies for leadership, ownership and sustainability for the future. Following a three stage pilot process, eight questions were formulated to guide and stimulate discussion in focus group sessions. These questions were linked with the three research questions, consistent with the aim of the study. Research ethics approval for the study was obtained from the university and the health care organisation, St Johannas Care Centre (SJCC). A total of 21 employees of SJCC, who were members of the mission integration team, participated in a voluntary capacity. Data were obtained from 17 participants through five focus group sessions, each of one and a half hour duration, and four individual interviews for participants who were unable to attend the sessions due to work commitments. Sessions were audio- taped and the text data was transcribed. Content analysis of the data resulted in categories, sub-themes and themes. Three themes emerged, with one theme for each research question. The themes were (1) 'Having a shared vision', (2) 'It‟s a changing world' and (3) 'If we look after it now'. It is recommended staff are encouraged and supported by colleagues and the Executive Management Group to take ownership and leadership of the mission and that leadership programs are established whereby mission is highlighted as being integrated with everything that occurs at SJCC. This approach would address situations whereby mission is perceived as another layer on top. In conclusion, there was a need for staff to have knowledge and understanding of the SJCC mission; resource funding was needed, and a leadership program was needed to foster mission integration and sustainability.
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