Strategic Encounters in Innovation and Regulation: Healthcare Transformation in the Era of Digital Connectivity; Comment on “What Managers Find Important for Implementation of Innovations in the Healthcare Sector – Practice Through Six Management Perspectives”

Document Type : Commentary


1 BRU-IUL and ISCTE Business School, Lisbon, Portugal

2 REM-UECE/ISEG, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

3 SPRU, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

4 ANACOM, National Communications Authority for Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal

5 NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Campolide, 1070-312 Lisboa, Portugal

6 UNIDO, Vienna, Austria

7 Links Medical Scientific, Co. Ltd., Irvine, CA, USA

8 DireçãoGeral do Ensino Superior, Lisboa, Portugal

9 Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal

10 Università di Roma LUMSA, Roma, Italy


Healthcare innovations emerge and develop in institutionally dense selective environments. New projects and propositions in healthcare sectoral ecosystems can be understood as product-service compacts, that is, complex solutions that dynamically integrate tangible and intangible elements in close interaction with users’ needs and the evolving regulatory context under uncertainty and ambiguity. We advance the concept of “strategic encounters” to encapsulate, capitalise and extend the contribution by Palm and Fischier’s on the key enabling managerial factors for healthcare innovation implementation under conditions of imperfect foresight. We intertwine creative assemblages that shape the formation of knowledge-intensive activities at the operators’ level with scope of sectoral level interventions to underscore how the opportunities and constraints can enhance innovation for the common good. We use the case of digital data health regulatory agendas as illustration. We argue that this broader perspective on healthcare transformation is theoretically pertinent and practically useful, for management and policy.


  1. Palm K, Persson Fischier U. What managers find important for implementation of innovations in the healthcare sector - practice through six management perspectives. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021. doi:34172/ijhpm.2021.146
  2. Cunha MP, Rego A, Clegg S, Lindsay G. The dialectics of serendipity. Eur Manag J. 2015;33(1):9-18. doi:1016/j.emj.2014.11.001
  3. Castellaci F, Grodal S, Mendonca S, Wibe M. Advances and challenges in innovation studies. J Econ Issues. 2005;39(1):91-121. doi:10.1080/00213624.2005.11506782
  4. Rodríguez FS. Governing ethical clinical research in developing countries: exploring the case of Mexico. Sci Public Policy. 2010;37(8):583-596. doi:3152/030234210x12767691861010
  5. Costa CM. The words of the belt and road initiative: a Chinese discourse for the world? In: Leandro F, Duarte P, eds. The Belt and Road Initiative: An Old Archetype of a New Development Model. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan; 2020. p. 23-44. doi:1007/978-981-15-2564-3_2
  6. Mendonça S, Cunha MP, Kaivo-Oja J, Ruff F. Wild cards, weak signals and organisational improvisation. Futures. 2004;36(2):201-218. doi:1016/s0016-3287(03)00148-4
  7. Nichols DA. Eisenhower 1956: The President's Year of Crisis--Suez and the Brink of War. Simon and Schuster; 2012.
  8. Cunha MP, Clegg SR, Mendonça S. On serendipity and organizing. Eur Manag J. 2010;28(5):319-330. doi:1016/j.emj.2010.07.001
  9. Yaqub O. Serendipity: Towards a taxonomy and a theory. Research Policy. 2018;47(1):169-179. doi:1016/j.respol.2017.10.007
  10. Jakonen M, Kivinen N, Salovaara P, Hirkman P. Towards an Economy of Encounters? A critical study of affectual assemblages in coworking. Scand J Manag. 2017;33(4):235-242. doi:1016/j.scaman.2017.10.003
  11. Deloitte/AXA. Digital Health Whitepaper. Beijing: Deloitte Consulting and AXA Tiaping; 2021.
  12. Xie X, Zhou W, Lin L, et al. Internet hospitals in China: cross-sectional survey. J Med Internet Res. 2017;19(7):e239. doi:2196/jmir.7854
  13. Chen M. Medical Device Contract Research Organization (CRO) as Knowledge-intensive Business Services (KIBS): Exploring China’s Innovative Medical Device Sector [thesis]. Lisbon: ISCTE Business School; 2021.
  14. Heilmann S. From local experiments to national policy: the origins of China's distinctive policy process. China J. 2008;59:1-30. doi:1086/tcj.59.20066378
  15. Nicita A, Manganelli A. Regulating Digital Markets: The European Approach. London: Palgrave Macmillan; 2022.
  16. Lyra MS, Curado A, Damásio B, Bação F, Pinheiro FL. Characterization of the firm–firm public procurement co-bidding network from the State of Ceará (Brazil) municipalities. Appl Netw Sci. 2021;6(1):77. doi:1007/s41109-021-00418-y
Volume 11, Issue 12
December 2022
Pages 3114-3117
  • Receive Date: 21 March 2022
  • Revise Date: 25 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 30 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 31 May 2022