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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2012 Jan-Mar;27(1):34-49. doi: 10.1002/hpm.1032. Epub 2010 Jul 5.

Strategic analysis for health care organizations: the suitability of the SWOT-analysis.

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  • 1Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus MC/Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Because of the introduction of (regulated) market competition and self-regulation, strategy is becoming an important management field for health care organizations in many European countries. That is why health managers are introducing more and more strategic principles and tools. Especially the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)-analysis seems to be popular. However, hardly any empirical research has been done on the use and suitability of this instrument for the health care sector. In this paper four case studies are presented on the use of the SWOT-analysis in different parts of the health care sector in the Netherlands. By comparing these results with the premises of the SWOT and academic critique, it will be argued that the SWOT in its current form is not suitable as a tool for strategic analysis in health care in many European countries. Based on these findings an alternative SWOT-model is presented, in which expectations and learning of stakeholder are incorporated.

Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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