Background: From a management point of view, there are many different approaches from which to choose to engage staff members in initiatives to improve performance.
Objective: The present study evaluated how two different types of improvement strategies facilitate and encourage involvement of different professional groups in health-care organizations.
Methods/Design: Empirical data of two different types of strategies were collected within an improvement project in a County Council in Sweden. The data analysis was carried out through classifying the participants' profession, position, gender, and the organizational administration of which they were a part, in relation to their participation.
Setting: An improvement project in a County Council in Sweden.
Participants: Designed Improvement Processes consisted of n=105 teams and Intrapreneurship Projects of n=202 projects.
Intervention: Two different types of improvement strategies, Designed Improvement Processes and Intrapreneurship Projects.
Main Outcome Measures: How two different types of improvement strategies facilitate and encourage involvement of different professional groups in healthcare organizations.
Results: Nurses were the largest group participating in both improvement initiatives. Physicians were also well represented, although they seemed to prefer the less structured Intrapreneurship Projects approach. Assistant nurses, being the second largest staff group, were poorly represented in both initiatives. This indicates that the benefits and support for one group may push another group aside.
Conclusions: Managers need to give prerequisites and incentives for staff who do not participate in improvements to do so. Comparisons of different types of improvement initiatives are an underused research strategy that yields interesting and thoughtful results.