CHAPTER 50

Interest-Based Problem Solving

Foundation of a Labor and Management Partnership

Jeffrey Jackson and Adrienne Eaton

IN EARLY 1998, managers representing the physician leadership of the US nonprofit healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente found themselves delivering a message no manager likes to deliver. The Optical Laboratory that produces eyeglasses for the 3,000,000 Northern California health plan members was going to be closed and over 200 jobs would be cut or, in some cases, transferred to a merged operation in Southern California.

Kaiser Permanente, the largest health maintenance organization (HMO) in the US, was in the middle of its only two years of negative financial performance in its 60year history. The plans to close the Optical ...

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