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    by Published on 29th June 2013 02:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Controversies

    Stress From Outsourcing can Kill

    I was struck by the similarity in the situation when people are laid off during redundancies and the stress caused by the move from one company to another during outsourcing - it strikes me that this is an under researched area and something we as managers should pay more attention to.

    Pioneering studies in Scandinavia that took place some years ago, where centralized health care allows researchers access to vast databases of medical conditions and treatment, showed a strong link between downsizing, layoffs and illness. A study by Finnish researchers published in February (2004) in the British Medical Journal, found the risk of dying from a heart attack doubled among permanent employees after a major round of downsizing, with the risk growing to five times normal after four years. What was surprising about this study was that 'surviving' employees - those left behind - suffered as much stress as those who left. Those hit hardest by layoffs in this study - losing more than 18 per cent of their colleagues during the worst years of recession - suffered the highest risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

    Two other studies in the same vein suggested that other forms of strain in the workplace can also affect health. An analysis of medical records for 24,036 Swedish workers from 1991 to 1996 found that in workplaces that underwent large-scale expansions, the workers were 7 percent more likely to take sick leave of 90 days or more and 9 percent more likely to enter a hospital for some reason.

    What these studies showed was there is a relationship between work related stress and real physical outcomes - for those remaining as well as the obvious strains to those leaving. Outsourcing shares many of the factors that were shown to lead to this heightened risk and we should be aware that an over cavalier approach to managing people in this major change process could possibly lead to people dying before their time. It is not enough that we have to act carefully and ethically as other Blog writers on this forum have said we have to act with responsibility and care for people - in the final analysis if it could be shown we acted in an unfair and reckless manner in dealing with people during an outsource we also might find ourselves liable in law. More research is clearly called for in this area.

    by Published on 11th April 2013 09:14 PM  Number of Views: 1491 
    1. Categories:
    2. Reviews

    Jill Barr and Lesley Dowding have just published the book 'Leadership in Health Care (2008) London: Sage, so I thought I would make a brief comment on the style and content.

    The book focuses on healthcare but it is applicable to all allied professions, is not overly focused on the UK or NHS, and it does a good job of introducing key theories and highlighting how to apply these in practice.

    It covers a broad range of areas, and perhaps for that reason has more breadth than depth. Still the authors do not take an overly simplistic approach, as they do offer criticisms of key concepts and theories.

    The book starts by focusing on the individual and the nature of leadership. Different views of what makes a leader, and the difference between leaders and managers are discussed. It also gives a very brief overview of psychometric ways of assessing your own leadership abilities. Diversity and cultural aspects are also covered, and then it jumps back to theories of leadership - again giving a good range as an introduction, including discussions of the 'anti-leadership' era and the importance of 'followership'.

    The second part focuses on the team, areas such as group unity and conflict, communication (with a brief discussion of NLP), problem solving, and managing conflict. The third and final section covers the level of analysis of the organization. After highlighting strategies, structures and systems, a full chapter on quality outlines the importance of clinical governance, audit, effectiveness and risk management. A final chapter on leadership for change does a good job in my view of emphasizing the importance of the emotional aspects of change as well as highlighting issues when change is unsuccessful.

    The conclusion draws everything together and discusses the use of future scenario thinking and forward planning.

    Overall this is a very good introduction to leadership specific to health, with a set of tools included that will be worth trying out.

    kind regards
    by Published on 13th March 2013 09:09 PM
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    2. Press News,
    3. Market Research

    The global outsourcing market growth will slow to just over 8% from 10% last year, according to Gartner Group - however offshoring is still increasing. ...