Title: Characteristics of growth management in healthcare business: applying and developing the stages of growth service framework

Authors: Anna-Mari Simunaniemi; Martti Saarela; Matti Muhos

Addresses: Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland

Abstract: This study aims to clarify the context-specific characteristics of growth management in private healthcare business. The roles of healthcare professional and manager can be conflicting, and it is important to know what practical implications this has on healthcare business growth management. In this multiple case study, we use the growth management framework for general service businesses based on literature synthesis by Muhos et al. (2017) to identify the characteristics and underlying features of management in healthcare business. The data consist of 12 interviews among Finnish healthcare companies. As the main outcome, we present an adapted version of the stages of growth model for healthcare business and identify the contextual characteristics that are related to growth motivation and business competence of entrepreneurs, commitment and competence of employees, public sector relations, and regulation. Further, we adapt some of the original assumptions to better describe growth management in the context of healthcare service business including the conflicting roles of manager and healthcare professional, central of public sector and regulation, as well as growth motivation and business competence of entrepreneurs. These findings provide practical benefits for business owners as the framework assumptions can be used as a checklist when getting prepared for business growth.

Keywords: healthcare business; entrepreneurship; SMEs; growth management; stages of growth; context-specific characteristics; healthcare entrepreneurship; critical incidents; sequential incident technique; multiple case study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2022.10044556

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2022 Vol.21 No.1, pp.1 - 27

Received: 05 Oct 2020
Accepted: 10 Jun 2021

Published online: 21 Jan 2022 *

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