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James Tiessen - Ted Rogers School of Management. Toronto, ON, CA

James Tiessen James Tiessen

Director & Associate Professor, Health Services Management | Ted Rogers School of Management

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Professor Tiessen focuses on Canada-Japan relations, health-care policy and management, and Japanese health-care policy





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Japanese Hospitals: Trends and Challenges



James (Jim) H. Tiessen is Associate Professor and Director of the School of Health Services Management. He earned degrees at the University of Alberta (B.Sc.), Guelph (M.Sc.) and York University’s Schulich School of Business (Ph.D.). Jim was a DeGroote School of Business McMaster University faculty member for 10 years before joining Ryerson in 2008. He served as MBA Director at both universities. Prior to his university career, Jim lived in Japan and later worked for the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Dr. Tiessen’s research has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing, International Marketing Review, Canadian Journal of Administrative Studies and other journals. He has served as President of the Japan Studies Association of Canada. De Tiessen is a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. He was also a visiting Scholar at the Asian Institute, Munk Centre of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and visiting research fellow at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo Japan.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Japan Health Care Policy Canada-Asia Relations Health Care Management


Education (3)

York University’s Schulich School of Business: Ph.D.

University of Guelph: M.Sc.

University of Alberta: B.Sc.

Selected Media Appearances (2)

To Help Residents With Dementia, One Japanese City Has a High-Tech Fix



James Tiessen, an expert on Japanese healthcare at Ryerson University in Toronto, describes a host of other devices that help monitor and care for Japan’s elderly. There’s even a teapot sensor that transmits an alert to a family member’s cell phone if tea hasn’t been made in some time. “People in Japan usually drink several pots of green tea a day,” Tiessen says. “If an elderly person’s teapot hasn’t been used in a while, it can mean that something’s wrong.” Other technological fixes include robots that perform tasks such as fetching food or turning on lights, or furry robotic seals that provide comfort...

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Japan's Bold Steps

The Globe and Mail  


"What I'm very impressed with is they implemented it, but they were ready to change it and tweak it right away. In Canada, I find, once you have something, it almost ossifies," says James Tiessen, director of Ryerson University's School of Health Services Management and an expert on Japanese health care.

"Do they have answers?" he asks. "I think they have some."...

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Research Focus (1)

Report: An Asian Flavour for Medicare Learning from Experiments in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan

Peng, Ito and Tiessen, James H.


Peng and Tiessen highlight how examining reforms in Asian countries could provide insights for improving Canada’s underperforming system. They show how reforms in Japan, Taiwan and Korea – including greater competition between hospitals, introducing user fees and putting hospital specialists on salary – have controlled health-care spending while still offering top-quality services.

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Selected Articles (3)

Japanese healthcare: Fostering competition and controlling costs Healthcare Management Forum

Tiessen, James H., and Ken Kato


Japan's universal healthcare system is relatively inexpensive, provides accessible services, and was established nearly 10 years before Canada's. Two aspects of Japan's system are particularly interesting. The first is that there is active competition for patients between a
variety of hospital providers, which can be privately or publicly owned. This competition is based on service quality because prices are set centrally. The second feature is that these prices are adjusted biannually by a National Council, the Chuikyo, that includes payers (employers), providers, and third-party experts in public negotiations. This process improves transparency, reduces political stakes, and allows for appropriate fee adjustments.

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What causes international variations in length of stay: A comparative analysis for two inpatient conditions in Japanese and Canadian hospitals Health Services Management Research

James Tiessen, Hirofumi Kambara, Tsuneo Sakai, Ken Kato, Kazunobu Yamauchi, Charles McMillan


Hospital average length of stay varies considerably between countries. However, there is limited patient-level research identifying or discounting possible reasons for these differences. This study compares the length of stay of patients in Japan, where it is the longest in the OECD, and Canada, where length of stay is closer to the OECD mean...

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Culture and ethics management: Whistle-blowing and internal reporting within a NAFTA country context International Journal of Cross Cultural Management

Brent MacNab, Richard Brislin, Reg Worthley, Bella L Galperin, Steve Jenner, Terri R Lituchy, Joan MacLean, Gustavo Munoz Aguilera, Elizabeth Ravlin, James H Tiessen, Dave Bess, Marie-France Turcotte


This article examines the relation of culture to the propensity for, and potential effectiveness of, both internal reporting and whistle-blowing as ethics management tools within a North American context. Samples from a total of 10 regions in the US, Canada and Mexico increased the accuracy and meaningfulness of the findings. Hofstede's cultural dimensions uncertainty avoidance and power distance had the most consistent and significant relationship to propensity for both whistle-blowing and internal reporting, while collectivism was not found to be significantly related to either ethics management tool...

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