Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

HLTHMGT 729 - Strategic Health Management

15 Points 

Semester 2



The importance and contribution of strategic management to the health sector is established through the application of strategic management thinking and theory to complex systems. Skills in strategy formulation are developed through application of the logic and processes of strategy.


Restriction: POPLHLTH 729

Course aims and outline

Goals of the Course 

Heighten awareness of the importance and contribution of strategic management to the health sector

Develop skills in strategic management to enable those who complete the course to manage strategically in the health sector.


Learning Outcomes 

Following the completion of the course students should:

  • Have a good theoretical understanding of strategy and its application in the health field
  • Be able to distinguish between those environmental factors that are of greater importance to a health organisation’s strategy and those of lesser importance
  • Understand the social, political and technical factors that impact on strategy
  • Be able to locate strategic thinking from industry and business into the health context
  • Have the knowledge required to draft a strategic plan for a health organisation


Content Outline

Module 1 – Strategy & data 

This module begins with an overview of strategy and strategic thinking in the health sector. A framework is developed for use in the remainder of the course. We then look at the theories that underpin strategy and the models that have been derived from these theories. Later in the module we consider the relationship between data, information, and knowledge in terms of helping manage strategy.


Module 2 – Strategic thinking 

This module is designed to help you think about different approaches to thinking - critical thinking, creative thinking, and reflective thinking. These approaches to thinking are key for planning and implementing effective strategy.


Module 3 – Strategic planning 

This module explores a number of strategic planning tools that are informed by the system sciences. Systems mapping is presented in order to help understand how to frame the issue(s) being explored, and the relationship between various aspects of system. This approach is then used to analyse a complex case. Later in the session we look at some specific tools (concept mapping and Behaviour over time chart) that can be used to analyse a problem or issue that is to be the focus of a strategic action.


Module 4 – The politics of action 

This module explores the factors that need to be considered when implementing strategy in a healthcare context. Of a particular focus is the political nature of professionals. Within this political frame the module identifies a number of change management strategies that can be applied to support the process of strategy implementation.


Module 5 – Building networks 

This module explores the theory and practice of developing collaborative networks. We identify the reason for networks, the characteristics of effective networks, and how to measure network development.


Module 6 – Leadership & change 

This module how leadership models and approaches to network design can support the implementation of strategy. We also touch on models of change management that can be used to guide the process 

Learning and Teaching

The course is offered in Semester 2 on Tāmaki Campus and occupies three half days on campus, and three modules that are delivered online.

Campus Teaching Dates 

Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.

Learning Resources 

A course book of readings with a detailed course outline will be given to each student enrolling before the course commences. There is no text for the course however there is a good collection of strategy texts held in the University of Auckland library system.


100% coursework

Assignment 1 (35%) (2000 words) provides for students to relate learning about strategy to organisations that operate in the health sector.

Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4.


Assignment 2 (25%) (1500 words) provides for students illustrate the application of strategic thinking tools.

Learning outcomes 3 & 5


Assignment 3 (40%) (2500 words) provides for students to develop a strategy implementation plan.

Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5


Programme and Course Advice 

Approved course for the PG Diploma and Master in Public Health

Approved course for the PG Diploma and Master in Health Science

Recommended course for the Health Services Management pathway in PG Diploma in Public Health.

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator