Environmental uncertainty and organizational effectiveness: Hurricane Hugo

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/148499
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Environmental uncertainty and organizational effectiveness: Hurricane Hugo
Abstract:
Environmental uncertainty and organizational effectiveness: Hurricane Hugo
Conference Sponsor:Sigma Theta Tau International
Conference Year:1991
Author:Hoffman, Sharon, PhD
P.I. Institution Name:University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Significance: Natural disasters pose unique episodes of environmental turbulence and resultant uncertainty for health care organizations. In this study, environmental turbulence is synonymous with the Hurricane Hugo episode which significantly interrupted the normal flow of information and resources into the health care organizations in its path. The purpose of the study was to describe the effect of the Hugo episode on hospitals in two geographic zones in the Carolinas, and to test five hypotheses which further describe the relationship between internal communications, environmental uncertainty, hospital innovation and efficiency.



Conceptual Base: The combined organizational theories of Lawrence and Dyer (1983) and Tushmen and Romaneli (1983) guided the study. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to obtain a purposive sample of 375 employees composed of administrators, nurse managers, staff nurses and support service personnel in 11 hospitals. Qualitative data were collected via segmented focus group interviews (64) followed by completion of the Perceived Environmental Uncertainty Questionnaire (PEU) (Cronbach's alpha=.70) and the Communication Survey to identify numbers of boundary spanners (within unit plus outside unit communicators) within the organization.



Results: Significant differences existed in the (PEU) between geographical zones (p=.001), and in the (PEU) between six groups of hospital personnel at p=.0000. Of the 253 boundary spanners identified 84.6 percent were administrator/managers. There was a significant difference at the p=.0001 level between the total number of management level boundary spanners and nurse boundary spanners overall and for each zone. Focus group data indicated that the major problems encountered were inability to communicate with the outside world accompanied by feelings of isolation, prolonged disruption of communication with others within the hospital, fear of bodily harm to self and or impending death, extreme fatigue and sleeplessness and distress related to destruction of the external environment. Results suggest that (a) complexity of communication is a key factor to be addressed in planning for future environmental disasters and (b) persons who hold positions in administration/management claim to be more certain about the turbulent conditions and the potential organizational impact as compared to other personnel groups.
Repository Posting Date:
26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Sigma Theta Tau International

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleEnvironmental uncertainty and organizational effectiveness: Hurricane Hugoen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/148499-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Environmental uncertainty and organizational effectiveness: Hurricane Hugo</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Sigma Theta Tau International</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">1991</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Hoffman, Sharon, PhD</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">University of Wisconsin Milwaukee</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">R2Shoffman@aol.com</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Significance: Natural disasters pose unique episodes of environmental turbulence and resultant uncertainty for health care organizations. In this study, environmental turbulence is synonymous with the Hurricane Hugo episode which significantly interrupted the normal flow of information and resources into the health care organizations in its path. The purpose of the study was to describe the effect of the Hugo episode on hospitals in two geographic zones in the Carolinas, and to test five hypotheses which further describe the relationship between internal communications, environmental uncertainty, hospital innovation and efficiency.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Conceptual Base: The combined organizational theories of Lawrence and Dyer (1983) and Tushmen and Romaneli (1983) guided the study. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to obtain a purposive sample of 375 employees composed of administrators, nurse managers, staff nurses and support service personnel in 11 hospitals. Qualitative data were collected via segmented focus group interviews (64) followed by completion of the Perceived Environmental Uncertainty Questionnaire (PEU) (Cronbach's alpha=.70) and the Communication Survey to identify numbers of boundary spanners (within unit plus outside unit communicators) within the organization.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Results: Significant differences existed in the (PEU) between geographical zones (p=.001), and in the (PEU) between six groups of hospital personnel at p=.0000. Of the 253 boundary spanners identified 84.6 percent were administrator/managers. There was a significant difference at the p=.0001 level between the total number of management level boundary spanners and nurse boundary spanners overall and for each zone. Focus group data indicated that the major problems encountered were inability to communicate with the outside world accompanied by feelings of isolation, prolonged disruption of communication with others within the hospital, fear of bodily harm to self and or impending death, extreme fatigue and sleeplessness and distress related to destruction of the external environment. Results suggest that (a) complexity of communication is a key factor to be addressed in planning for future environmental disasters and (b) persons who hold positions in administration/management claim to be more certain about the turbulent conditions and the potential organizational impact as compared to other personnel groups.</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-26T09:46:04Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-26T09:46:04Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipSigma Theta Tau Internationalen_GB
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