Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLHLTH 729 - Information and Strategic Health Management

15 Points

Semester 1


Examines the potential for information from all sources to enhance management and impact on strategy in the health sector and healthcare organisations. Heightens awareness of the importance and contribution of strategic management to the health sector. Develops skills in strategic management to enable those who complete the course to manage strategically in the health sector.  

Programme and course advice

  • Approved course for the Postgraduate Diploma and Master in Public Health.
  • Approved course for the Postgraduate Diploma and Master in Health Science
  • Recommended course for the Health Services Management pathway in Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health

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

Day 1: An introduction to Strategy

This course 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 consider the relationship between data, information, and knowledge in terms if helping manage strategy. In the afternoon we consider the major environmental factors that impact on strategy in the health sector in New Zealand and elsewhere and the sources of information that can be used in strategic planning and management. We end the day by exploring different thinking skills that will support you in the process of developing strategy.

Day 2: Strategy formulation.

Day 2 begins with a session that explores a practical approach to system mapping. This approach 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. The afternoon is facilitated by Synergia. This is a company that specialises in providing a 'whole system' approach to designing strategy. In particular they help clients to design strategies, organisations, human systems and processes; to realise these strategies and structures, and to sustain them over time. Synergia will continue the theme of the morning by outlining a process they go through to analyse a problem or issue that is to be the focus of a strategic action. They will then present their approach to using the process of analysis to inform the strategy planning process.

Day 3: Strategy implementation

The morning of day three will be a very applied session. You will take the information you have collected since we last met and use it as a basis for applying Synergia’s model for strategic planning. The morning will then move into a discussion of some of the pragmatic issues of implementing strategy and getting ‘buy-in’. The afternoon will continue the theme of strategy implantation by looking at a couple of key enablers and inhibitors for getting strategy to ‘work’.

Day 4: Integrated governance

Integrated governance will be used as a framework to consider strategy in the context of solving complex problems where there are multiple stakeholders. Strategy within the State’s increasing need for joined up Government will be discussed with particular attention to such concepts as informal relationships, cooperative relationships, coordinated relationships, collaborative relationships and partnerships (i.e. partnerships in participation around joint planning, implementation or evaluation). The later part of the afternoon will be dedicated to you presenting your strategic plan to a situation identified.

Additional information

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator