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Week 7 – Case StudyBUS3280: Organizational

Week 7 – Case StudyBUS3280: Organizational BehaviorThe Mayo Clinic: An Enduring Organizational CultureThe Mayo Clinic has healthcare facilities in Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; andScottsdale/ Phoenix, Arizona. These three campuses collectively employ more than 3,300 physicians,scientists, and researchers, and 46,000 allied health staff. It is the largest, not-for-profit group medicalpractice in the world.The Mayo Clinic, founded by brothers Charles Mayo and William Mayo, has an enduring set ofunshakeable values or ideals that have defined the clinics culture throughout its entire existence.Those ideals teamwork, collegiality, professionalism, mutual respect, and a commitment to progressfor the organization and for individuals make [the] Mayo Clinic a stimulating environment in which topractice medicine, teach, and conduct research. Shirley Weis, Mayos chief administrative officer,indicates that these values derive directly from the Mayo brothers and the Mayo family.The primary value of the Mayo Clinic is: The needs of the patient come first. This primary value issupplemented by eight values statements regarding respect, compassion, integrity, healing, teamwork,excellence, innovation, and stewardship. Mayos Web site further states: These values, which guideMayo Clinics mission to this day, are an expression of the vision and intent of our founders, the originalMayo physicians and the Sisters of Saint Francis. Shirley Weis emphasizes: We see very much thatthose values need to stay the same while the world around us changes.The authors of a study of strategic human resource management at the Mayo Clinic express theviewpoint that [c]ulture becomes the vehicle through which problems and challenges becomeaddressed, defined, reframed, and ultimately solved. When cultural values do not work in this fashion,they must be modified or jettisoned. The culture is not the end or goal but rather the means. Theessential means for the Mayo Clinic always has been and continues to be putting the patient first. KenAckerman, chairman of Minneapolis-based consulting firm Integrated Healthcare Strategies, succinctlydescribes the Mayo Clinic philosophy: Putting the needs of the patient firs, its that seven-word phrasethat all 50,000 people in the Mayo system know. And they walk the talk.According to Bob Walters, a Mayo Clinic senior administrator and former chief administrative officer ofthe Jacksonville campus, not only is the value – the patient comes first- enduring, but it also is whatattracts people, both the physicians and allied health staff, to Mayo. Indeed, the priority placed onpatients ranks second among the top ten reasons that physicians cite for working at the Mayo Clinic.Interestingly, the top reason is having challenging patient cases on which to work and inspiringcolleagues with whom to work. Taken together, the top two reasons focus on Mayo employeesworking together to serve patients in the most effective way possible.Although the willingness of the staff to put the patient first and to work collaboratively is the essence ofthe Mayo Clinics culture, that essence is made possible, at least in part, through the influence of theClinics compensation system. Leonard Berry, writing in Organizational Dynamics about his research onleadership lessons at the Mayo Clinic, asserts that the most influential factor in preserving the Mayobrothers vision and values is likely the Clinics approach to staff compensation. Virtually all Mayo Case Study 7 Page 1 of 2 employees are salaried with no incentive payments, separating the number of patients seen orprocedures performed from personal gain. Berry quotes one Mayo surgeon as saying that thecompensation approach is a disincentive system that works. Berry also quotes another Mayosurgeon as stating: By not having our economics tied to our cases, we are free to do what comesnaturally, and that is to help one another out. … Our system removes a set of perverse incentives andpermits us to make all clinical decisions on the basis of what is best for the patient. W. Bruce Fye, aMayo cardiologist and a medical historian, says that with Mayos salary system, physicians do not havedivided loyalties, and that there isnt any competition between doctors to take care of patients.Clearly, the culture of the Mayo Clinic has proven to be a viable and effective means for solvingproblems and meeting challenges in contemporary healthcare. Can Mayos culture serve as a model forother healthcare organizations to emulate?DISCUSSION QUESTIONS1. What purpose does culture serve for an organization?2. Describe the Mayo Clinics culture from the perspective of espoused values and enacted values.3. Using the perspective of the functions of organizational culture, explain the impact of Mayosvalues and ideals.4. What role has the Mayo Clinics compensation system played in developing and maintaining itsculture?5. Do you think the Mayo Clinics culture provides a good model for other healthcareorganizations? Why or why not? Case Study 7 Page 2 of 2