[Excerpt from publisher] - What is organizational culture? - Do organizational cultures influence the performance of health care organizations? - Are organizational cultures capable of being managed to beneficial effect? Recent legislation in the United Kingdom has led to significant reforms within the health care system. Clinical quality, safety and performance have been the focus for improvement alongside systematic changes involving decision-making power being devolved to patients and frontline staff. However, as this book shows, improvements in performance are intrinsically linked to cultural changes within health care settings. Using theories from a wide range of disciplines including economics, management and organization studies, policy studies and the health sciences, this book sets out definitions of cultures and performance, in particular the specific characteristics that help or hinder performance. Case studies of high and low performing hospital trusts and primary care trusts are used to explore the links between culture and performance. These studies provide examples of strategies to create beneficial, high-performance cultures that may be used by other managers. Moreover, implications for future policies and research are outlined.