Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Recent years have witnessed a parallel and seemingly contradictory trend towards both the standardization and the customization of healthcare and medical treatment. Here, we explore what is meant by ‘standardization’ and ‘customization’ in healthcare settings and explore the implications of these changes for healthcare delivery. We frame the paradox of these divergent and opposing factors in terms of institutional logics – the socially constructed rules, practices and beliefs which perpetuate institutional behaviour. As the tension between standardization and customization is fast becoming a critical fault-line within many health systems, there remains an urgent need for more sustained work exploring how these competing logics are articulated, adapted, resisted and co-exist on the front line of care delivery.
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