Thorstein Veblen‘s The Theory of Business Enterprise is useful in providing an interesting analysis regarding today’s health care professionals. In The Theory of Business Enterprise, Veblen dichotomizes business enterprise into the machine process and business principles. There is a struggle between the two as the machine process is concerned with production and quality. Business principles is concerned with distribution and “pecuniary gain” and will even go as far as sacrificing serviceability for vendibility by sabotaging the machine process if it means that it will profit.
Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are all part of the machine process. Their job is to heal people who are sick or injured. Hospital administrators such as board members represent the business principles side of the dichotomy in which they are concerned with “pecuniary gain.” However, it seems that some health care professionals are moving towards the business principles side of the dichotomy; they are more concerned about making money rather than healing their patients.