Impression Management Tactics on Goal Setting: A Case Study of Ontario Hospitals Quality Improvement Plans

Date
2017-08-15
Authors
Chan, Yee-Ching Lilian
Hsu, Sylvia Hsingwen
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Abstract
In this study, we explore goal setting as an impression management tactic in Ontario’s hospital sector, and examine the impact of self-set goals and action plans on organizational performance improvement. We find that hospitals with current performance lower than their peers (low-performance hospitals) are more likely to set difficult goals (targets higher than current performance) because they have strong impression motivation. Low-performance hospitals which develop and include more quality improvement initiatives for specific quality indicators in their Quality Improvement Plans (QIP) will gain performance improvement, while those which include few quality improvement initiatives do not gain any performance improvement as they fail in the impression construction process. On the other hand, hospitals with current performance higher than their peers (high-performance hospitals) are more likely to set easy goals as their impression motivation is not as strong as low-performance hospitals. Moreover, high-performance hospitals are more concerned about achieving easy performance goals and maintaining their favorable image as high-quality hospitals in the impression construction process. To gain performance improvement, Ontario government should allocate resources and provide guidance to develop quality improvement initiatives to low-performance hospitals that set difficult goals. In contrast, high-performance hospitals should continue to set difficult goals to gain performance improvement.
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Keywords
impression management, impression motivation and construction, goal setting
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