Abstract and Keywords
This introductory chapter offers an overview of the purpose and structure of the Handbook. It begins by explaining why the health care management field is a worthy object of academic study. Next, it offers a reasoned critique of two main streams of current literature in the field and then articulates three propositions that guided the Handbook structure: (i) both classic and emerging social science perspectives and theories can add analytical richness and variety to health management research today; (ii) an expanding range of health policy-related phenomena can and should be explored academically; and (iii) building a wider international literature base is a valuable endeavor. The second half of the introduction reviews the main themes of each chapter and the four Parts of the book. Finally, it discusses the extent to which the original three propositions have been fully worked out in the Handbook and where further work should take place.
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