Planning in University of medical sciences: Challenges and solutions

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 School of Public Health, Health information management research center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Planning involves choosing the right goals and the right way to achieve them goals. University managers face a number of challenges that prevent them from achieving their goals effectively and efficiently. This study aimed to identify planning challenges and their solutions in the university.

Methods: This case study was conducted qualitatively in 2018 in 11 faculties of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The research population included senior, middle and operational managers of the university. Sampling was done purposefully with maximum variety and continued until data saturation (91 interviews). In-depth semi-structured interview method was used along with document review for data collection. Thematic analysis method with MAXQDA11 software was used for data analysis.

Results: Senior managers’ turnover, insufficient managers’ commitment, lack of belief in planning, lack of authority and power, failure history of previous plans, non-operational plans, incompatibility of goals with activities, lack of proper planning model, people resistance to plans, lack of a culture of teamwork, lack of effective communication between managers and employees, and lack of funds, were the most important challenges of planning. Solutions include strengthening managers’ and employees’ commitment, strengthening the culture of participation and teamwork, formulating the plans based on organizational needs, continuous training of staff, improving communication between managers and employees, and regular evaluation of the plans, internally and externally.

Conclusion: Poor management and leadership, poor planning, weak organizational culture, lack of attention to organizational learning and poor management of staff, resources and working processes are the main obstacles to planning for university managers.


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