Time spent by health managers in two cultures on work pursuits

Real time, ideal time and activities' importance

Jeffrey Braithwaite*, Mary T. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We compared health managers' judgements of: (1) the time they spent on nine major work activities, (2) the time they thought they should allocate and (3) the importance they attributed to each pursuit. These and managers' reasons for devoting time to activities were examined in an Anglo and a Confucian-Asian country. Method: A questionnaire survey of Australian (n=251) and Singaporean health managers (n=340). Results: In both countries, the correlation between judgements of time spent on activities/activities' importance (1 and 3) was significantly less than the correlation between time spent/time that should be spent (1 and 2), which was less than the correlation between time that should be spent/activities' importance (2 and 3). Singaporeans said they devoted more time to some activities but the importance attached to work pursuits and the reasons given for actual time allocation were similar cross-culturally. Conclusions: There was evidence of considerable disparity between managers' actual and preferred time allocation and of the globalization of health managers' work values. Evidence regarding time use might contribute to a rethink of how managers' efficiency and effectiveness are construed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-69
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

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