Resource Dependence as a Mechanism for Survival : The Case of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Doyle, Gerardine and Kelly, Rosemarie and O’Donohoe, Sheila (2016) Resource Dependence as a Mechanism for Survival : The Case of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. Voluntas, 27 (4). pp. 1871-1893. ISSN 0957-8765

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This paper examines the evolution of the largest university teaching hospital in Ireland, from its origins in 1861 to the present day, drawing upon the lens of resource dependence theory as proposed by Pfeffer and Salancik (1978). Analysing the mission, resources and governance of the hospital, three distinct eras are identified, self-financing, transitionary and that of government/non-profit partnership. The paper demonstrates that despite traumatic events and financial crises this hospital has survived through evolving resource dependence and has preserved its voluntary status notwithstanding its current collaborative partnership with the Irish State.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The Hospital Trust Fund became the predominant source of funding for The Hospital following the legalisation of a hospital sweepstake in 1930, marking a radical shift in the resourcing of as this also coincided with the virtual disappearance of charitable donations (Nolan ). Noticeably this Trust Fund was initially deemed as “a buffer between the State and the source of hospital funding” (Coleman , p. 225) but by the early 1940s the Hospital Commission was much more powerful as it controlled the allocation of the sweepstake surplus. Pressure on the finances of The Hospital escalated so much so that it received a special Exchequer allocation of funds in 1956 to cover its deficits (Coleman ). Growing activity saw The Hospital employ more staff, with the number of Sisters peaking in 1970 (Nolan ). However, fewer nuns in subsequent years resulted in an increase in the cost of patient care as The Sisters were replaced with paid staff. By the early 1980s with the hospital sweepstake in decline, the Hospital Trust Fund was contributing a much smaller amount towards The Hospital deficit (Coleman ). It was only when this fund was insufficient that the State seem to undertake the responsibility to provide funding for the hospitals. The sweepstake eventually closed in 1987 (Coleman ). The annual reports from 1983 to 1985 demonstrate the severity of the financial pressure as The Hospital struggled to meet all of its expenditure from its meagre self-generated income and the funding allocation provided by the Department of Health. Furthermore, in an effort to generate additional income to support its many activities including research and postgraduate education, a fund raising campaign was established in 1982. This campaign initiative was formalised in 1985 when the Mater Foundation, a fund raising body became a registered company, which today is one of the largest hospital Foundations in Ireland. Publisher Copyright: © 2016, International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University.
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1403
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Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 23:08
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 04:50

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