Is management essential to improving the performance and sustainability of health care systems and organizations? A systematic review and a roadmap for future studies

Value Health. 2013 Jan-Feb;16(1 Suppl):S46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2012.10.004. Epub 2012 Nov 14.


Recent studies have highlighted the importance of management in the health care sector. Positive correlations have been found between clinical and economic performance. Although there is still controversy regarding what kind of management and which managers should lead health care organizations and health systems, we now have interesting evidence to analyze. Starting with a systematic review of the literature, this article presents and discusses the streams of knowledge regarding how management can influence the quality and sustainability of health systems and organizations. Through the analysis of 37 studies, we found that the performance of health care systems and organizations seems to be correlated with management practices, leadership, manager characteristics, and cultural attributes that are associated with managerial values and approaches. There is also evidence that health care organizations run by doctors perform better than others. Finally, we provide a roadmap that indicates how the relationship between the management and performance of health systems and organizations can be further and more effectively investigated.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Health Facility Administrators / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Administration / standards*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Culture
  • Physicians / organization & administration