Organizational capacity for change in health care: Development and validation of a scale

Aaron Spaulding, Bita A. Kash, Christopher E. Johnson, Larry Gamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: We do not have a strong understanding of a health care organization's capacity for attempting and completing multiple and sometimes competing change initiatives. Capacity for change implementation is a critical success factor as the health care industry is faced with ongoing demands for change and transformation because of technological advances, market forces, and regulatory environment. Purpose: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a tool to measure health care organizations' capacity to change by building upon previous conceptualizations of absorptive capacity and organizational readiness for change. Methodology/Approach: A multistep process was used to develop the organizational capacity for change survey. The survey was sent to two populations requesting answers to questions about the organization's leadership, culture, and technologies in use throughout the organization. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to validate the survey as a measurement tool for organizational capacity for change in the health care setting. Findings: The resulting organizational capacity for change measurement tool proves to be a valid and reliable method of evaluating a hospital's capacity for change through the measurement of the population's perceptions related to leadership, culture, and organizational technologies. Practical Implications: The organizational capacity for change measurement tool can help health care managers and leaders evaluate the capacity of employees, departments, and teams for change before large-scale implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Care Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • absorptive capacity
  • culture
  • leadership
  • organizational change
  • organizational readiness for change
  • organizational technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Strategy and Management


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