Organizational Assessment of Vanderbilt University Medical Center Report (Assessment)


This is a healthcare facility whose main objective is to offer health care services, carry out health related research, as well as promote biomedical education. The facility offers health care in various areas such as heart and heart surgery, endocrinology, respiratory disorders, kidney complications, as well as gynaecology among others.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a company that has several branches and a number of campuses that offer biomedical education. The headquarters of Vanderbilt University Medical Center are located in Nashville, Tennessee in the United States of America.

Potential strengths and weaknesses


The success of an organization is highly dependent on its strengths and opportunities available to it. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been one of the most successful companies in the industry. It has a number of strengths that have enabled it to achieve the kind of success it has today.

One of the strengths that have been vital to the success of this company is the fact that it has staffs that are highly skilled and committed to the organizational duties (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 2013).

The staffs are always working to give the best services to the patients and their customers to ensure that anyone who gets the services is satisfied and will be willing to come back again. In addition to being committed to their duties, the staffs are also highly skilled. Therefore, the services they offer are top class and of high quality.

It is important to note that most of the diseases that are handled in these hospitals need a high level of knowledge and skills, an attribute that the staffs already possess. The staffs are committed to ensuring the wellness of patients. As a result, patients are always willing to visit the facility since they are assured of top quality services.

One of the reasons that may have contributed to the company having highly skilled staffs is the fact that it has its own training facilities where it trains medical personnel. The research facilities available in the organization also help in boosting the knowledge and skills of the staff. It is, therefore, in order to say that the research institutions and the training institutions are also strengths to the company (Berkowitz, 2011).

The other factor contributing to the company’s strength is its locations. As it has been mentioned earlier, Vanderbilt University Medical Center has several branches of hospitals that offer services to patients. The branches are located in strategic points where they can reach a large number of patients.

The locations are easily accessible by road. The company is well connected within the country. It is also well equipped with technological facilities that are used in enhancing the level of services offered. Technology is a source of strength for any company that has it and utilizes it accordingly.


One of the major weaknesses that affect the business of Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the weak communication system that exists. The organization is very large, thus communication becomes quite complicated. It is not easy to communicate effectively with all the staffs. It is important to note that communication in itself is a competitive advantage for any organization.

Therefore, it is likely for the organization to lose its competitive advantage to rivals if it is not able to communicate effectively with its stakeholders. There are cases such as duplication of services that result from weak communication systems at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Organizational differences

One of the factors that can facilitate the success of any organization is its differences. An organization that offers services that are differentiated is likely to gain a competitive advantage. It is imperative to note that the organizational differences distinguish the organization from its competitors. In addition, it is the differences that describe what the organization is all about, as well as its objectives and mission.

According to Duncan, Ginter and Swayne (2013), organizational differences refer to the strategic resources of the organization and the measures that the organization has put in place to develop these strategies in order to differentiate it from competitors. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is different in that it has resources that are not available in many organizations in the same industry.

For instance, it has training institutions where it trains its own staffs. This helps it offer quality training to its staff so that they can offer top quality services to patients, thereby making the organizational services differentiated. Another factor that makes the organization different is the fact that it has research facilities where its staff can carry out various researches.

Research helps the organization improve on its services since it can make new discoveries and come up with new ways to deal with the various problems. In addition, research facilities and the technological equipment in those facilities are likely to support innovation, an attribute that is likely to give the organization competitive advantage to facilitate its objective of offering differentiated services (Berkowitz, 2011).

ASSISTS Analysis

This is an analysis that is used to determine the competitive relevance of the resources available in an organization, as well as the capabilities of the organization and its staff (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 2013). One of the questions that have to be answered is the question of value. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has resources that have a lot of value to its customers.

The resources are worth since they help the customers get the best services possible. For instance, the training facilities give the staffs knowledge and skills that help them offer quality services to the patients. The equipment is of high competence and is up to date in terms of technology.

The other question relates to rareness. Not many competitor organizations have the resources that are possessed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. For instance, it is not easy to find hospitals that have research centres and training facilities. Therefore, this is a point of strength to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and it gives it competitive advantage.

The question of immitability should also be considered in determining the ASSIST analysis. It is important to note that most of the resources can be copied by the competitors in this industry. This is a weakness for Vanderbilt University Medical Center since its competitors are likely to copy and have means of duplicating the services and resources as long as they have enough finances.

Finally, the question of sustainability should also be addressed. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has the ability to sustain its current competitive advantage for a long period. The value and the rareness can be maintained. However, the organization should take measures to improve on immitability of its resources and capabilities (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 2013).

ASSIST Analysis Table

Value Vanderbilt has high value resources e.g. training and research facilities.
Has highly competent equipment and up to date technology.
Rareness Competitors hardly have Vanderbilt’s resources such as training and research centres.
Immitability Most of Vanderbilt’s resources can be copied by competitors.
With enough finances, competitors can duplicate Vanderbilt’s services.
Sustainability Vanderbilt can sustain its current competitive edge for long due to its unmatched, valuable and rare resources.

Sources of competitive advantages

An organization should be aware of the sources of its competitive advantage to be able to maintain them and find ways to improve on them. Competitive advantage is gained if an organization has the ability to add value to the services it offers to customers and in turn increase the level of customer satisfaction (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 2013).

There various ways through which an organization can add value to its services for customers. Among the ways through which an organization can add value include cost leadership, differentiation, as well as focus strategies. Cost leadership is where the organization has the ability to offer goods and services at a cost that is relatively lower compared to that of competitors.

It is important for the organization to maintain the quality of its products, regardless of the costs involved. Therefore, the costs should be sustainable. The next method of gaining competitive advantage is through differentiation. This is the method used by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Center offers services that are differentiated from those of its competitors.

Differentiation can, therefore, be described as the source of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s competitive advantage (Schmidt, 2010). The research facilities available in the company help it develop ways of offering services that are of high quality.

A research centre is a source of knowledge; therefore, employees of the company have access to knowledge that they apply in offering their services. In addition, the training offered also help in differentiating the company’s services. The health personnel are trained in a customized manner to offer special services to the organization’s patients (Berkowitz, 2011).

Porter’s modified value chain for Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Porter’s modified value chain for Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Source: Schmidt (2010)

Evaluating competitive analysis

This is a stage that is very critical in determining the competitiveness of the organization since it is the stage that enables the organization in defining strategies that can improve on its current services and gain or sustain its competitiveness.

A thorough analysis of the competitive advantage will help the organization improve on its marketing strategies, operations, infrastructure within the organization, as well as the technological development of the organization (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 2013).

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is an organization that is highly competitive. It has resources that have helped it become one of the best in the USA, if not the best in the industry. Its capabilities are outstanding, thereby giving it an upper hand compared to its rivals. However, the company has some weaknesses that it should improve on in order avoid being overtaken by its rivals in terms of competition.

For instance, communication is an issue that is likely to affect its operations. Despite the fact that the size of the company is an advantage, it makes it difficult for effective communication systems to be established. It is important to note that communication has the ability to improve the services offered.

At the same time, communication can lead to poor services if it is not well established. Generally, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is competitive in the industry, but it should improve in communication to avoid losing its competitiveness.


Berkowitz, E. N. (2011). Essentials of health care marketing. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ginter, P. M., Duncan, W. J., & Swayne, L. E. (2013). Strategic management of healthcare organizations (7th ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Schmidt, B. B. (2010). The dynamics of M&A strategy: Mastering the outbound M&A wave of Chinese banks. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

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