Successful strategy making in Bupa not-for-profit provident: A case study and interview with Mr Ray King, chief executive of Bupa

Abby Ghobadian*, Nicholas O'Regan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose – The focus of extant strategy literature is on for-profit organisations and within these group public organisations. There are other forms of organisations and following the deep recession of 2008 there is greater interest in other forms of organisation. In this case study and interview the aim is to examine strategy, strategic decisions and strategic management of a not-for-profit provident. 

Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on documentary evidence and a semi-structured interview with Ray King, chief executive of Bupa. The perspective of CEO is key in strategy and such perspectives are relatively rarer. 

Findings – Bupa invests its surplus to provide better healthcare. Free from the pressures of quarterly reporting and shareholders it can pursue long-term value creation for members rather than short-term surpluses. 

Research limitations/implications – The case study and interview offers a unique insight into strategy-making within a successful mutual provident that has grown organically and externally becoming an international leader in health insurance. 

Originality/value – This case study sheds light on strategy-making within a not-for-profit provident that has diversified and grown significantly over the past six decades. Furthermore, very few case studies offer insight into the thinking of a chief executive who has successfully managed a business in a turbulent environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-431
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strategy and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • External growth
  • Innovation
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Organic growth
  • Strategic decisions
  • Strategic innovation
  • Strategic leadership
  • Strategy


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