Skip to main content

A recent BMJ article written by Russell Mannion, Professor of Health Systems at the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC), and Huw Davies, Professor of Health Care Policy and Management at the University of St Andrews, has been downloaded over 38,000 times!

The article, which explores the links between organisational culture and health service quality, performance, safety and improvement, concluded that:

  • Organisational culture represents the shared ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving in healthcare organisations.
  • Healthcare organisations are best viewed as comprising of multiple subcultures, which may be driving forces for change or may undermine quality improvement initiatives.
  • Whilst there is a growing body of evidence which links cultures and quality, we need a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of cultural dynamics.
  • Whilst culture is often identified as the primary culprit in healthcare scandals, such simplistic diagnoses and prescriptions lack depth and specificity.

R. Mannion and H. Davies (2018) Understanding organisational culture for healthcare quality improvement BMJ [online]. Available at: [Accessed 13 January 2020]