Managerial perceptions on volume flexible strategies and performance in health care services

Academic Article


  • Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of volume flexible strategies on organizational performance in academic medical centers (AMCs). Volume flexible strategies represent a variety of methods where organizations use their portfolio of resources and capabilities to meet fluctuating customer demand while improving organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach A path model is developed and tested based on a survey of AMCs in the USA as listed in the American hospital directory. Findings The results indicate that desired levels of volume flexibility have a positive impact on organizational capabilities that in turn, positively influence how internal sources of volume flexibility are leveraged. In addition, volume flexible capability and the use of internal strategies were found to have a positive influence on customer-related performance that in turn, positively impacts financial and market share performance. Research limitations/implications This research was exploratory in nature and limited to a sample of AMCs. To improve the generalizability of these results, future studies should evaluate these constructs using a larger sample of health care organizations. Practical implications The deployment and use of volume flexible strategies is germane to any health care organization's strategy and performance. This study offers some guidance to administrators who need both a clear understanding of the underlying tradeoffs involved in deploying these strategies and a prescriptive model to help guide their use. Originality/value This work answers the recent calls for more empirical research in general, and specifically, for more operations strategy research on flexibility in service industries. It should assist future researchers who focus on flexibility in health care services and would also be of interest to practitioners interested in keeping up with academic literature. © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jack EP; Powers TL
  • Start Page

  • 228
  • End Page

  • 241
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 5