The quality management and health promotion practice nexus

B. Maycock, Sonj Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As health promotion has developed,there has emerged a range of underlyingconcepts, principles and practiceswhich have been integrated into bestpractice. This includes ethical principles(such as beneficence and autonomy),the concepts of social justice, equity,advocacy, empowerment, social capital,and practices such as consumerparticipation, capacity building, the useof process, impact and outcomeevaluation and evidenced-basedpractice. These create a uniquephilosophical and operating platform,from which health promotion initiativesshould derive many of their operatingprocedures. In recent years anotherconcept, that of quality managementhas been introduced into healthpromotion practice. The introduction ofquality management has the capacity toenhance work practice if done in a waythat is sympathetic to these existingprinciples, concepts and philosophies.This paper provides an overview ofquality management and discusses thepotential benefits it could bring tohealth promotion practice. Qualitymanagement with its support for aflatter management structure andattention to staff experience and needs,offers a system that could enhancetraining and service delivery via thecreation and introduction of checklists,benchmarks and other qualitymanagement processes. The qualitymanagement construct of internal andexternal customers could enhancehealth promotion practice via its explicitidentification of, “customer” needs andthe meeting of these needs. The paperidentifies a strong nexus betweenexisting health promotion practice andquality management, however it alsoconcludes that as the qualitymanagement paradigm does not containthe constructs of social justice, equity orempowerment and as these are centralto health promotion practice they needto be embedded into any qualitymanagement approach before it isimposed onto health promotion activity.Quality management offers healthpromotion practitioners the opportunityto operationalise these concepts,principles and practices into every dayactivity; to take what is implicit in themajor trends identified in healthpromotion and make them an explicitpart of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
JournalPromotion and Education: International Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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