As she prepares to depart from her senior leadership role at MMG, Ms. Olsen has asked your team for recommendations on the key issues she should identify for her successor.

•Recommendations for overcoming Key Issues

CAN THIS RELATIONSHIP BE SAVED? by Rhonda Engleman and Jisun Yu under the supervision of Professor Andrew H. Van de Ven. Reproduced with permission of Professor Andrew H. Van de Ven in the format post in a course management system.

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CAN THIS RELATIONSHIP BE SAVED? THE MIDWESTERN MEDICAL GROUP’S 1 INTEGRATION JOURNEY Forthcoming in P. Ginter, L. Swayne, and J. Duncan, The Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations, Fifth Edition, New York: Blackwell Business, 2005. (Current draft 10-7-04)

INTRODUCTION On a snowy January evening, the MMG management team held a retirement party for Judith Olsen, president of Midwestern Medical Group (MMG). During the evening, Olsen reflected back on the years she had worked for the MMG with mixed feelings about her experience. During their eight-year integration journey within the Midwestern Health System (Midwestern), the MMG management team experienced many encouraging moments, achievements, and successes as well as many struggles, disappointments, and conflicts. She was scheduled to meet with the board chair the next day to talk about the major issues her successor would need to address as president of the MMG. Knowing this might be her last contribution to the MMG before she retired, Olsen wanted to provide the board chair with helpful advice to pass on to her successor. This case focuses on the historical events in the MMG’s integration journey that Olsen pondered as she thought about what to say in that meeting. BACKGROUND Midwestern Health System (Midwestern) was established in July 1994 through the merger of Health Systems Corporation and Midwest Health Plan, making it the largest healthcare organization in its region. Health Systems contributed hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, a home health agency, and other healthcare services while Midwest Health Plan contributed health insurance products and relationships with physician groups. The vision guiding Midwestern’s development was to “offer an integrated healthcare system to affordably enhance the health of
This case was written by Rhonda Engleman and Jisun Yu under the supervision of Professor Andrew H. Van de Ven of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. We also appreciate the editorial assistance of Julie Trupke and useful comments of Gyewan Moon and Margaret Schomaker. We gratefully acknowledge Stuart Bunderson, Shawn Lofstrom, Russel Rogers, Frank Schultz, and Jeffery Thompson who assisted in collecting data during this eig