Organizational Science and Health Care


We review research on “organizational science and health care” (OSHC), defined broadly as research focusing on topics commonly studied in the organizational and management literatures, and conducted in health care settings. Using almost 700 articles published in leading organizational science (OS) and health care (HC) journals in the past decade, we first apply network methods to map this burgeoning field of research, highlighting topics that are more in the foreground (and background) of the field. We then conduct an in-depth review of recent and influential articles studying the five most prominent topics (organizational change, learning, coordination/cooperation, teams/structure, and performance). Next we synthesize this research, highlighting the patient-centered, dynamic, and specialized nature of health care work, and detailing disciplinary distinctions across studies published in OS and HC journals. Whereas research in OS journals tends to emphasize broad generalizability and organizing processes, research in HC journals tends to emphasize contextualized problems and the role of organizational structures and practices in solving them. We conclude by articulating the need for a broader orientation that integrates both of these disciplinary orientations, in ways that could allow scholars to advance OSHC with future research that is both rigorous and relevant.

Academy of Management Annals

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