Coopetition in health care: A multi-level analysis of its individual and organizational determinants

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Abstract

Cooperative inter-organizational relations are salient to healthcare delivery. However, they do not match with the pro-competitive healthcare reforms implemented in several countries. Healthcare organizations thus need to balance competition and cooperation in a situation of 'coopetition'. In this paper we study the individual and organizational determinants of coopetition versus those of cooperation in the price competitive specialized care sector of the Netherlands. We use shared medical specialists as a proxy of collaboration between healthcare organizations. Based on a sample of 15,431 medical specialists and 371 specialized care organizations from March 2016, one logistic multi-level model is used to predict medical specialists' likelihood to be shared and another to predict their likelihood to be shared to a competitor. We find that different organizations share different specialists to competitors and non-competitors. Cooperation and coopetition are hence distinct organizational strategies in health care. Cooperation manifests through spin-off formation. Coopetition occurs most among organizations in the price competitive market segment but in alternative geographical markets. Hence, coopetition in health care does not appear to be particularly anti-competitive. However, healthcare organizations seem reluctant to share their most specialized human resources, limiting the knowledge-sharing effects of this type of relation. Therefore, it remains unclear whether coopetition in health care is beneficial to patients. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Volume186
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Coopetition
  • Inter-organizational cooperation
  • Managed competition
  • Human resources
  • The Netherlands
  • CO-OPETITION
  • INTERHOSPITAL COLLABORATION
  • COMPETITION
  • NETWORKS
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • INTEGRATION
  • ALLIANCES
  • INSURANCE
  • HOSPITALS
  • ANTITRUST

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