Investigating People Management Issues in a Third Sector Health Care Organisation: An Inductive Approach

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Objective: To explain use of inductive convergent interviewing to generate the perceived critical people management issues, as perceived by staff, as a prelude to longitudinal surveys in a third sector health care organisation. Design: Convergent interviewing is a qualitative technique that addresses research topics that lack theoretical underpinning and is an inductive, flexible, evolving research approach. The key issues converged after six rounds of interviews as well as a further round to ensure that all of the common people management issues had been generated. Setting: Studies in employee behaviour in the health care industry exist, but there is little in the way of tested models of predictors of such behaviour in third sector organisations in the Australian health care industry. The context is what differentiates this study covering a range of facilities and positions in hospitals and aged care situations within one third sector health care organisation. Subjects: The study proposed twenty seven extensive interviews over a range of facilities and positions. Twenty one interviewees participated in the final convergent process. Conclusions: Critical issues included: workload across occupational groups, internal management support, adequate training, the appropriate skill mix in staff, physical risk in work, satisfaction, as well as other issues. These issues confirm the proposition of sector-ness in health organisations that are multi-dimensional rather than uni-dimensional.

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