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  • Writer's pictureestebanlizarazo

The renaissance of case studies in research management and the influence in the Healthcare SC

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

I recently built a conceptual framework for helping healthcare institutions to succeed in patient's safety and cost containment. The three elements that I proposed were: Logistics practices, Information Systems (IS) and clinicians influence.

Interestingly, the work done to describe the influence of stakeholders in the IM practices and the IM performance is low compared to the other two boosters.

Operations and Logistics are under the influence and power of the physicians (De Vries, 2013) and at the NHS in the UK, was found that best practices were highly influenced by the surgeons (Cox, Chicksand and Ireland, 2005). Barriers like conflict of goals between the medical department and the logistics department are common (McKone-Sweet, Hamilton and Willis, 2005) and physician preference items items have become complex elements to orchestrate the ward's logistics practice (Montgomery and Schneller, 2007). To my knowledge extent, no research has been done so far about how the Clinician’s influence the logistics practices and impacting the logistics performance in a hospital?. Furthermore, the impact of the hospital’s context in this mediator variable (influence of the clinicians) is also unknown.

Social Realism

Due to the nature of the question (a How question) and its aim of under covering the mechanism that mediates logistics practices and logistics performance, I decided to adopt paradigm and a retroductive strategy are proposed for the following stage of the study. By Bhaskar’s approach of Social Realism as my research paradigm. Social realism can be defined as the social arrangements that are the products of material, but unobservable structures of relations in an open system (Bhaskar, 2002). I am also encouraged by this paradigm to discover the underlying mechanisms and to explain observed regularities (Blaikie, 2007). Finally, it is my will and intention to build a hypothetical model of the mechanism with observations from different case studies.

Case study Now, Case Study was considered for building theories during the 90’s (Eisenhardt, 1989) and has become recurrent since Yin popularized the term as a social science’s research methodology (Yin, 2017), becoming useful and popular for researching in the supply chain and operations management field (Ketokivi and Choi, 2014). According to Yin case studies can be used when a how question type is proposed, there is no behavioural control over the events and the phenomena is contemporary, certainly the type of conditions that fits on my research. I am excited and thrilled by the fact that this will be a different research and doing social research in supply chain a complete and disruptive


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