Health workers' perceptions of private-not-for-profit health facilities' organizational culture and its influence on retention in Uganda
Shumba, Constance Sibongile
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Shumba, C., Kielmann, K. & Witter, S. (2017) Health workers' perceptions of private-not-for-profit health facilities' organizational culture and its influence on retention in Uganda. BMC Health Services Research, 17 .
Background: An in-depth understanding of how organizational culture is experienced by health workers (HWs), and influences their decisions to leave their jobs is a fundamental, yet under-examined, basis for forming effective retention strategies. This research examined HWs ' working experiences and perceptions of organisational culture within private-not-for-profit, largely mission-based hospitals, and how this influenced retention. Methods: Thirty-two HWs, including managers, in 19 health facilities in Uganda were interviewed using a semi- structured topic guide. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic content analysis. Results: Interviews showed that the organizational culture was predominantly hierarchical, with non-participative management styles which emphasized control and efficiency. HWs and managers held different perceptions of the organizational culture. While the managers valued results and performance, HWs valued team work, recognition and participative management. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that organizational culture influences retention of HWs in health facilities and provide a useful context to inform health care managers in the PNFP sub-sector in Uganda and similar contexts. To improve retention of HWs, a gradual shift in organizational culture will be necessary, focussing on the values, beliefs and perceptions which have the greatest influence on observable behaviour.