Linking publicness to operations management practices: A study of quality management practices in hospitals

Susan M Goldstein, Michael Naor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The goal of this study is to serve as a foundation to establish a link between the theory of organizational publicness and operations management practices. Quality management practices provide the unit of analysis for studying this linkage. The theory of organizational publicness is used to establish that organizations can be defined on a continuum of publicness rather than as purely public or purely private. Particular cultural factors, political influences, and organizational characteristics define this publicness. The study investigates the linkage between four publicness dimensions (ownership, goal setting, funding, and control) and operations-related quality practices (information and analysis, staff focus, and process management) in U.S. hospitals. The results of regression analysis show that the publicness dimensions of ownership and control are related to some quality management practices, with control (i.e. public responsibility and compliance) having a significant effect throughout the studied models. Hospital goal setting and funding, two additional publicness dimensions, are not significantly related to quality management practices. The results of this study build our understanding of how operations practices are used in public organizations and help to define the extent to which publicness matters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-228
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Empirical research methods
  • Health care operations
  • Operations management practices
  • Publicness dimensions
  • Quality management
  • Regression analysis


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