Write a report answering the question below. You should base your answer on one of the following case studies:
- If you are studying a degree related to Health and Social Care, you should base your report on the Gosport War Memorial Hospital case study.
- If you are studying a degree related to Hospitality, Tourism and Events, you should base your report on the Starbucks case study.
- If you are studying a degree related to Business or Law, you should base your report on the Volkswagen case study.
To what extent has the situation described in the case study damaged the reputation of the organisation? What can the organisation do to rebuild their reputation?
Background of Gosport War Memorial Hospital
A good reputation can earn way more than simple profits to the corporate organizations. It is important to take time and built organization’s reputation. A company with good reputation will surely presents itself as one of the best organization in the market to drag attentions (Ni and Van Wart 2015). It is vital to pay heed to the reputation of organization that a company build over the years before another organization, customer and the overall market trusts he company. A corporate reputation may include a wide range of aspects, each one playing vital roles as different department. A damaged reputation of corporate organization may take several years to gain back the trust of customers, shareholders or employees. There can be several ways reputation can be damaged, in this report the case study of The Gosport War Memorial Hospital will be discussed. Over 450 patients had died when they were inappropriately prescribed a painkiller. The organization soon gained the image of a serial killer as an institution. The death of 450 patients through inappropriate medication reflects the reluctant behavior of the organization and caused direct damage to the organization’s reputation. The report will continue to analyze the importance reputation and the way organize can rebuild their reputation through the example of The Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Situated in peninsula, The Gosport War Memorial Hospital is a local hospital with 113 beds. The hospital was part of Portsmouth Health care NHS Trust until 2002 from 1994 (Panel 2018). During this time, the services at the hospital was transferred to the local primary care trusts. The hospital is also a community that is isolated community located at the end of a peninsula along with some high deprivation. It has been noted that the place is not provided with adequate nurses. In regard of deaths, the hospital was first suspected in the year 1998 when a patient was killed illegally on Daedalus ward. The hospital was suspected again in 1999 and 2001 however CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) found insufficient evidences in order to prosecute. In the year 2000, the findings of an independent panel conducted by NHS Independent Review Panel showed that high doses of drugs were being used in appropriate circumstances.
A complaint against Portsmouth Healthcare NHS Trust was made to health services commissioner regarding the death of a patient in the year 1998. He underwent an operation on a broken hip in some other hospital and then was transferred to Gosport War Memorial Hospital. The patient died in December 1998 of bronchopneumonia. A complaint was registered based on this particular case claiming, the patient was neglected with inadequate medical and nursing care, the patient was given excessive amount of morphine and without good nursing care the patient was allowed to become dehydrated. When the commissioners undertook the case under investigation, it only found that the patient was provided with adequate care and according to his system adequate medical care was provided. In the similar way, there have been several cases that involved people who died before they were actually expected to die. The drug that was used was a life shortening opioid drug which was injected into the patients even when they did not need it (Darbyshire and Ion 2018). When the final report published, the nation shook finding that more than 450 elderly people were victim of the life shortening drug. Families that have lost their family members were with unsatisfied feeling in the hospital with made them doubt the medical procedures of the organization. Senior nurses were in 1991 even tried raising their voice during that time when they were asked to stay away from the matter. Several investigations were made however the evidences were only unjustified. Opioids are drugs that are used mostly in order to relieve severe pain. Although the medical notes were proved poor, the death of 456 people certainly showed the usage of opioids were unjustified.
Importance of Reputation Management
It is an absolute essential for business to in order to survive in the market. The trust and confidence or customer is important in order to continue making business. These confidence and trust can have direct as well as profound impact on company’s overall growth. In the contemporary period, significance of reputation has become highly apparent and companies have begun to put extra effort in order to build the reputation. Also, it is important organizations avaid making errors that would damage their reputation that is observed in the Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal. The damage caused to the reputation of the hospital will take several years to earn it back.
Previously, the reputation of the business relied majorly on the word of mouth by their stakeholders in order to build trust and confidence. According to Islam, Haider and Saeed (2013), in the modern age, the globalization has widened the range of building connection. Social networking, websites and other methods of instant communications have made possible several ways of making contacts and building organization image and reputation. When a connection and communication is made on constant basis people recognize the brand and its business. Therefore, the way it is excessively simple to build your reputation, it is equally easy to get reputation damaged. The Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal was an incident that needs to be prevented from occurring over again.
According to Godlee (2018), firstly, it is important to understand the reason that made the Gosport War Memorial Hospital the enormous perform the blunder. From senior management of the hospital till the general medical council involving local politicians, the coronial system, the crown prosecution service and the nursing and midwifery council have failed to act in ways that would have protected patients and relatives of the people who have caused damage to the reputation of the organization. The interest of the people in charge subordinated the people for whom their business existed. It will not be wrong to say that the organizational hierarchy structure cannot be blamed to any extent for it. According to Porter (2015), hierarchy is a process of structuring an organization using various levels of authority and a vertical link. It also includes chain of command, between superior and subordinate levels of organization. The hierarchy structure of an organization is made to carry out any work within in an organized and appropriate way. The information, instruction and direction of any task is flowed from the highest position to the position in the bottom. Each department is dependent on another and therefore, every segregated department including boards, VPs, department heads, supervisors and employees need to cooperate and act honestly in order to build the organization’s reputation. In this case, the issue was identified by a position that is situated in the base of the structure. When the issue was taken and discussed in among the senior positions the problem was only suppressed. Since according to the hierarchy process the subordinates need to follow the orders of the senior authorities, the people feeling the unethical practices were instructed to be silent on that matter. The decisions made by the higher authorities were the wrong decisions which lead to the death of over 450 patients.
Analyzing the Organizational Hierarchy
According Warren (2014), it is important to change the blame culture from the workplace as well as the industry in order to create a healthy working environment. According to Fan et al. (2014), a blaming culture is when people in the organization are reluctant to speak out about unethical occurring of workplace. People not taking risks or even the responsibility at work for they are afraid of criticism, retribution or other worse circumstances. The staffs were concerned regarding the massive disturbance and they even tried bringing the use of diamorphine to the attention. The changes observed by them about the usage of diamorphine such as irregular drug regime, unnecessary deaths and many more. Discussions regarding drug and unnecessary death was held between the nursing and medical staff, the patient care manager and the RCN convener over the coming months. It resulted that the usage of the drug among the patients was an agreed decision. The nurses were warned over the meeting for not carrying the concern any further. It can be seen observed the ways the nurses did not take any further action regarding the situation. The blame culture is observed in the workplace where the staffs did not take stand on the wrong procedure since there involved a risk of putting their job in danger. The blame culture can be observed in this particular case as there is lack of accountability of Dr. Jane Barton to anyone who would take the matter with acute concern. The accountability of Dr, Jane Barton would have prevented her using medicine and continue killing people for two decades. Also, hesitancy to admit mistake was the nature of the organization where the mistake conducted by doctor was the sign of blame culture. Several attempt to cover the mistake made the situation worse when it only fueled the process and encouraged the doctor to go on.
According to Senge (2014), another aspect that is important to consider while analyzing the case is the power culture of the organization. The power culture of an organization can give information which help understanding the reason of organization’s reputation damage. According to Duncan and Agnew (2014), in a power culture, each department is entrusted with limited authority defined by several laws, rules and regulations that make the power stay in few hands only. The reputation of the organization was prone to damage as their internally the power was held by few. The people with power only made the decisions according to their interest. The aim of the organization was only to increase revenue and share price.
Blaming Culture and the Importance of Accountability
The Gosport war memorial hospital is blamed for the death of more than 450 people and the families of the dead people urged the authorities to bring criminal procecutions. The long on going incident is evidently not going to be forgotten by people soon. However there is need to bring forth some important lessons that can be learned. The importance of the customer’s view point is very essential. The senior management needs to be extremely aware regarding the procedures carried on under the lower departments and any more.
The families of the victims were continuously let down by the higher authorities every time the concern was being raised. The organization is faced with some serious allegations that are not easy to overcome in few years. The organization needs to pay extensive attention to the structure of the organization and increase the accountability of the employees. The accountability should be monitored closely. There should be special attention paid to the patient and the families of the patients and their concerns. Media usage can be helpful in promoting the organization. The organization should rebuilt its ethical norms and pay heed to the practices of the ethical practices. An investment in public relation will ensure the communication made between the customers and the organization is regulated well along with their concerns taken into consideration.
Darbyshire, P. and Ion, R., 2018. The Gosport War Memorial Hospital Panel report and its implications for nursing. Journal of advanced nursing.
Duncan, J.S. and Agnew, J., 2014. The power of place (RLE Social & Cultural Geography): Bringing together geographical and sociological imaginations. Routledge.
Fan, D., Cui, L., Zhang, M.M., Zhu, C.J., Härtel, C.E. and Nyland, C., 2014. Influence of high performance work systems on employee subjective well-being and job burnout: empirical evidence from the Chinese healthcare sector. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(7), pp.931-950.
Godlee, F., 2018. Lessons from Gosport.
Islam, T., Haider, M. and Saeed, D., 2013. The impact Corporate Social Responsibility on Customer Loyalty: mediating role of Customer satisfaction.
Ni, A. and Van Wart, M., 2015. Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing Well and Doing Good. In Building Business-Government Relations (pp. 175-196). Routledge.
Panel, G.I., 2018. Gosport War Memorial Hospital. the report of the Gosport Independent Panel. 2018.
Porter, J., 2015. The vertical mosaic: An analysis of social class and power in Canada. University of Toronto Press.
Senge, P.M., 2014. The fifth discipline fieldbook: Strategies and tools for building a learning organization. Crown Business.
Warren, A., 2014. Working culture: The agency and employment experiences of nonunionized workers in the surfboard industry. Environment and Planning A, 46(10), pp.2300-2316.
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