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Who sets the business agenda?

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Business planning is now a key activity in health care organizations and is affecting the way in which both managers and professionals carry out their work. This paper starts by examining some of the recent changes affecting business planning in a number of health care sectors. It then suggests that the business agenda can be based on four possible models—financial, marketing, needs or power. The evidence is examined, looking at input, output and process information, and some conclusions reached on what, in reality, influences the business agenda, as well as what doesn't, but perhaps should. The overwhelming importance of financial and power features of agenda setting are recognized and the paper concludes by suggesting how the contents of the agenda may be shifted by allowing the voices of a wider group of participants to be heard. Perhaps a new model will be developed based initially on information sharing but moving to real communication between the different perspectives now in existence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Senior Lecturer, Strategic and International Management, University of East London, Dagenham, Essex, UK

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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