Head and heart in quality implementation - Applying the quality philosophy within irish healthcare institutions

Kay Downey-Ennis, Denis Harrington, Brian Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


It has been well established within the literature that the successful implementation of quality relies heavily upon the human factor. Most leading firms now recognise that a higher quality service and improved competitiveness will result from increased attention to people issues within the organization. It is held that the implementation of any quality initiative should embrace a participatory management style, address the issue of changing attitudes and culture, employee involvement and empowerment together with investment in training, development and learning. To date, limited research attention has been given to the challenges involved in operating such practices in working contexts such as healthcare. This is significant given that it is the 'softer' issues of managing the quality dynamic that are coming to the fore in healthcare organizations. This paper seeks to explore and address such deficiencies and report s a review of key developments in this area. It concludes by outlining current research developments within the healthcare industry in Ireland and poses important questions for future quality implementation within the Irish healthcare sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1153
Number of pages11
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • Head and heart
  • Irish healthcare institution
  • Quality implementation


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