Ethics is clearly one of the basic issues in healthcare. Without a proper ethical code, healthcare industry will not be able to provide its patients with high quality services. However, ethics depends heavily on leadership issues, and the case study conducted by Lawrence and Morris (2009) is a graphic example of that. Among the most obvious leadership and management concerns, the absence of control over the marketing department should be mentioned. In a broader sense, the case study displays the lack of coherence between the works of different departments, which must be the problem of information management (Swayne, Duncan & Ginter, 2009). Hence, a leadership style must be changed from laissez-faire to a more rigid, transformative one (Swayne et al., 2009).
Based on the information provided by Swayne et al. (2009), LLC has obviously resorted to the strategy defined by Potter as the cost leadership approach. Indeed, the fact that the organization provided its patients with an opportunity to reduce their expenses to a minimum, including the possible costs for staying at the hotel, points at the effort to beat the competitors by lowering the prices. Even the eye exams “were included in the price as long as the patient came to either the Seattle or Vancouver clinics” (Lawrence & Morris, 2009, p. 772).
The strategy adopted by PCLI, on the contrary, seemed to be very sensitive to the competition yet retained its comparatively high prices: “Most of the ODs charged $700 to $1,200, making the total price of laser surgery to the patient between $3,500 and $4,000” (Lawrence & Morris, 2009, p. 768). Thus, PCLI’s approach can be defined as a differentiation strategy (Swayne et al., 2009). The two organizations, therefore, adopted diametrically different approaches, yet the latter seemed to work for both organizations equally well, as each was tailored to the organizations’ specific needs.
Though the approach chosen by PLCI is quite understandable based on the clinic’s high standards for service quality and the qualifications of the staff, one must admit that it needs a more reasonable pricing strategy. In order to be more efficient in the LASIK surgery market, the organization will have to reconsider its priorities and establish a more flexible pricing strategy.
Seeing that the number of low-cost competitors is growing (Lawrence & Morris, 2009), PLCI must either lower the prices as well, or come up with the offer that will make it stand out of the rest of the clinics. The former will require reducing costs for certain operational processes (Swayne et al., 2009); for instance, the current logistics strategy may be reconsidered. The latter option presupposes funding the organization’s R&D Department extensively (Swayne et al., 2009) and will take more time.
The case study in question demonstrates the presence of interpersonal skills. Though the specified trait is often overlooked, it, in fact, affects the performance of the organization to a considerable degree. The fact that the company’s leader took his time to read the letters of gratitude sent by the customers (Lawrence & Morris, 2009, 776) shows that the company is guided by a set of strong moral principles. As far as the strategic management principles are concerned, the companies in question seem to have a keen ability for strategic management planning, as each handled the task of defining its further competitive strategy in the target market.
The case described by Lawrence and Morris (2009) shows that operating in the global market is challenging primarily due to incredibly high competition rates. Thus the more a company has at stake, the greater the threat of suffering a defeat is. However, the case has also shown in a very convincing manner that the adoption of a proper leadership and a strategic management approaches, one will be able to locate an adequate solution.
Lawrence, J. & Morris, L. J. (2009). “Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute: Competing in the LASIK eye surgery market.” In Swayne, L., Duncan, J. & Ginter, P. M. (Eds.), Strategic management of healthcare organizations (pp. 763–777). (6th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.
Swayne, L., Duncan, J. & Ginter, P. M. (2009). Strategic management of health care organizations. (6th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.