12th Organisational Behaviour in Health Care (OBHC) Conference

15-17 April 2020, Alliance MBS, Manchester, UK

(with a pre-conference event for PhD students and early career researchers on 14th April 2020)

As a result of the continued spread and impact of the coronavirus across the world, OBHC 2020 in Manchester has been cancelled. We realise that this will be disappointing for many people; we share your disappointment. Unfortunately, we do not see any other way of ensuring the well-being and safety of our delegates.

Despite over 120 delegates having originally registered, we are aware that employers and national governments are imposing travel restrictions, and many colleagues are now no longer able to attend or are increasingly concerned about doing so. The number of people testing positive for the virus in the UK is rising, and the UK government has introduced social distancing measures, including restrictions on non-essential travel and social gatherings.

We have given consideration to holding the conference ‘virtually’ but given that our delegates come from a wide range of time zones and that face-to-face networking plays a key role at OBHC, it would not be feasible or appropriate to do this. However, we will be considering what elements of the conference programme could be made available in some form at a later date, once the coronavirus pandemic subsides. We hope to hold the Researcher Development Day, which received over 30 registrations, in the next academic year. Some of the panel symposia may also be brought together for a shorter event. More information will follow from the Society for Studies in Organising Healthcare (SHOC) in due course.

All registration fees will be refunded automatically. We will aim to have this completed within the next six weeks. Any hotel bookings made through the conference website link will also be refunded, hopefully within the same timeframe. In the meantime, should you have any immediate concerns or questions, please contact confercare-online@manchester.ac.uk. Unfortunately, we will not be able to help with the reimbursement of visa fees, travel expenses or accommodation bookings made via other channels. We suggest that you contact your airline, travel insurance company or hotel directly.

Although we will not be able to meet for OBHC this year, the preparatory work has been very useful. All authors have received peer review feedback on their submissions that will help them develop their work further. New connections have been established as part of putting together panel symposia bringing together colleagues from different institutions and countries. The Scientific Committee is currently reviewing papers shortlisted for the Best Paper awards; these will be announced in April as planned. Finally, we are planning an edited book and a special issue of the Journal of Health Organisation and Management comprising a selection of conference submissions.

The SHOC Trustees and Executive Committee share the huge disappointment that it has been necessary to cancel OBHC 2020. However, we are all in agreement that this is the most appropriate decision given the ongoing global health situation.

We thank you for your understanding and hope that you all stay safe and well.

With very best wishes,
The OBHC 2020 Organising Committee

Join us for OBHC 2020 in Manchester, one of the UK’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. This biennial conference, the primary activity of the Society for Studies in Organizing Healthcare (SHOC), will be hosted by Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester.

Conference theme

‘Managing Healthcare Organisations in Challenging Policy Contexts: Integration or Fragmentation?’

The conference theme is inspired by the pioneering role of Greater Manchester in implementing devolved arrangements for the provision of health and social care. We aim to investigate how contemporary policy trends, which are often infused with internal tensions and contradictions, are influencing healthcare systems, organisations and professions. We will also explore the various ways in which policy implementation could be enacted, resisted and reinvented by healthcare managers and professionals on the ground.

A wide range of contributions is anticipated, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

• The interplay between healthcare policy formulation, piloting and implementation;

• Consequences of policy-led restructuring for healthcare workforce and patient populations, as well as for service delivery and innovation;

• Insights into novel organisational forms and practices, such as partnerships, collaborations, multidisciplinary teams and integrated organisations;

• Variability of local contexts and regional economies and their effects on people, policy and practice;

• Politics of knowledge mobilisation as a bridge between research, policy, management and clinical practice;

• Strategies used by healthcare professionals, managers and patients to influence, implement, neutralise or resist healthcare policy initiatives;

• Longitudinal studies of organising and re-organising in healthcare, reflecting the evolution of policies and practices over time;

• The role of technology and data in enacting, modifying and subverting policy-mandated practices.