The adoption, character and impact of strategic human resource management: a case study of two large metropolitan Vietnamese public hospitals
In this paper the researchers set out to explore the adoption, character and impact of strategic human resource management (SHRM) in two large metropolitan Vietnamese public hospitals using a multi-level qualitative research design. Data are analyzed from 21 interviews and 5 focus groups with key players from the hospitals and government authorities. Findings show that the State controls many of the core day-to-day HR functions of public hospitals, curtailing local autonomy and management innovation. This is compacted by inadequate government funding, poor training of medical staff, and inadequate management and business skills of hospital managers. Inhibiting greater experimentation with SHRM is the fear of developing management initiatives out of sync with the State. Consequently, many managers and clinicians held negative views of the HR department and their relevance for the day-to-day management of healthcare services. Respondents reported that they perceived these factors had a negative impact on the well-being of medical staff and the quality of patient care. The paper concludes with a discussion on the necessity for continued State reforms that can enable greater autonomy of the hospitals’ HRM functions and greater investment in local HR capabilities to materialize the link between SHRM, employee well-being and quality of patient care.