The factors influencing medical staff engagement at not-for-profit hospitals in Australia

    Student thesis: DBA


    Australia’s AUD$197 billion healthcare system comprises government and private organisations that provide a wide range of services and the delivery of safe, effective and high-quality healthcare depends on the services of thousands of highly trained and competent staff. How these staff feel at work really matters to their patients, their families and their carers. This is particularly so for doctors, with studies showing a compelling link between the quality of care and medical staff engagement.

    Although the state of medical engagement at Australian hospitals is now beginning to be known from the use of medical staff engagement surveys, the factors that support doctors to be engaged and, in particular, what influences and changes their engagement remains an under-researched issue. A gap analysis of the literature reviewed illustrates that there is no apparent research into medical engagement in the not-for-profit healthcare sector in Australia. No peer-reviewed research was found that provides a multidimensional
    perspective of engagement across the medical profession by clinical speciality, stage of career (junior or senior), setting (service or department) and across the private and public sectors.

    This study sought to examine the factors that influence employee engagement of medical staff working in one public hospital in Sydney and one public and one private hospital colocated in Melbourne. The research approach was qualitative. The study was exploratory and used case study method for the research design. The study was informed by critical realism. Data was collected through interviews with 57 medical professionals working across public and private hospitals.

    The findings indicate that medical engagement is a multifactorial phenomenon which spans both senior and junior staff career stages. The most common theme was that all doctors would like to share a sense of responsibility and be able to contribute to leadership taskswhere and when their expertise and qualities are relevant and appropriate to the context in which they work. This was more so for senior doctors, who may have greater opportunities and ambitions to exercise leadership.
    Date of Award10 Mar 2023
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Australian Institute of Business
    SupervisorErwin Loh (Supervisor) & Carlene Boucher (Supervisor)

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