Barriers to social sustainability in the health-care industry in the UAE
Ajmal, Mian M.
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Purpose This study aims to identify barriers to social sustainability in the health-care industry in the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, the impact of these dimensions on social sustainability is examined. Design/methodology/approach A comprehensive questionnaire has been developed based on semi-structured interviews with different departments of two tertiary hospitals in the first phase. In the second phase, data are collected from ten public and private hospitals situated in the United Arab Emirates. In the third phase, responses are examined using principal component analysis to identify the five major barriers for social sustainability. A measurement model (confirmatory analysis) is developed to examine the relationship among these dimensions. Finally, a structural model is developed to examine the significance of these dimensions to the notion of social sustainability in health care. Findings The statistical model shows a 61 per cent variance for social sustainability, which is caused by infrastructure, organizational culture, lack of coordination, stakeholder’s disparity and uncertainty, which are positively and highly correlated measurement barriers to social sustainability practices implementation. Research limitations/implications Health-care professionals and stakeholders believe that the elimination of obstacles to social sustainability must be multi-dimensional and not limited to specific practices. Practical implications This study would enable health-care industry to examine the extent of obstruction for social sustainability. Hospital administrators and medical professionals could use this feedback to assess and benchmark their performance against that of other competitive hospitals. Originality/value The contribution of this paper is to advance the understanding of social sustainability in the health-care sector by viewing it from the perspective of the stakeholders and the social exchanges that occur among them.