Organizing Healthcare For Changing Markets: The Case of Ascension Health

Eric S. Engler, Stephen L. Jones, Andrew H. Van de Ven


This case describes a Ministry Positioning process that will enable the management of Ascension Health to enact designs suitable for the rapidly changing healthcare industry. Ascension Health is the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the United States with $21 billion in annual revenues and a presence in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Because the design of a large organization for a fast-moving environment is too complex and ambiguous to be fully planned in advance, the focus of the case is on the processes of learning while designing—that is, learning how to learn from designing organizations. The main lessons drawn from the Ministry Positioning process are discussed.


Organization design; strategic planning; market positioning; healthcare organizations; healthcare management

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ISSN: 2245-408X

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