The Politics of Management Knowledge in Times of Austerity

ISBN : 9780198777212

Ewan Ferlie; Sue Dopson; Chris Bennett; Michael Fischer; Jean Ledger; Gerry McGivern
288 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2018
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While the implementation of evidence-based medicine guidelines is well studied, there has been little investigation into the extent to which a parallel evidence-based management movement has been influential within health care organizations. This book explores the various management knowledges and associated texts apparent in English health care organizations, and considers how the local reception of these texts was influenced by the macro level political economy of public services reform evident during the period of the politics of austerity.

The research outlined in this volume shows that very few evidence-based management texts are apparent within health care organizations, despite the influence of certain knowledge producers, such as national agencies, think tanks, management consultancies, and business schools in the industry. Bringing together the often disconnected academic literature on management knowledge and public policy, the volume addresses the ways in which preferred management knowledges and texts in these publicly funded settings are sensitive to the macro level political economy of public services reform, offering an empirically grounded critique of the evidence-based management movement.


1 Introduction - Exploring The Politicality of Management Knowledge in Times of Austerity
2 A Review of Literatures and Perspectives on Management Knowledge
3 The Political Economy of English Public Services Reforming and Implications for Management Knowledges in Health Care Organizations
4 English Public Management Reforming after 2010: From Big Society to Austerity
5 The Quality, Improvement, Productivity, and Prevention Programme in the English National Health Service
6 Case Study 1: Service Improvement Agencies in the English NHS: A Disappointing Impact
7 Case Study 2: Think Tanks and London's Quadruple Helix of Public and Health Policy Knowledge Production
8 Case Study 3: Management Consulting Knowledge and English Health Care Organizations
9 Case Study 4: The High Impact of Private-sector Management Knowledge in an Independent-sector Provider
10 Knowledge Leadership: Securing Organizational Change
11 Concluding Discussion - Management Knowledges, Politics and Policy and Public Services Organizations in Times of Austerity
Appendix 1: Methods and Data Sources
Appendix 2: Case Study Summaries

About the author: 

Professor Ewan Ferlie Ewan Ferlie is Professor of Public Services Management at King's College London. He has published widely on themes of change and reorganization in public services settings, especially in health care and higher education. He is also interested in the tension between the logics of professionalism and managerialism in these settings. His work seeks to characterise high level narratives of public services 'reforming', including New Public Management and post NPM narratives of reform, which include political, ideological, and technical components. He was elected as an Academician of the Social Sciences in 2008 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2016.; Professor Sue Dopson Sue Dopson is the Academic Director of the Oxford Diploma in Organisational Leadership, a Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, and Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. She is a noted specialist on the personal and organisational dimensions of leadership and transformational change. Her research centres on transformational change and knowledge exchange in the public and healthcare sectors, and she currently represents the University of Oxford as Non-Executive Director of the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.; Chris Bennett is an independent research psychologist. She was previously employed by the Medical Research Council, and as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change, University of Warwick. Most of her research and publications have explored different aspects of change within the NHS and other public sector bodies.; Dr Michael Fischer Michael Fischer is Professor in Organisational Behaviour and Leadership at Australian Catholic University, an Associate and Programme Director at Melbourne Business School, and Visiting Scholar at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. Trained as a business school social scientist and clinical group analyst, his research has a strong empirical focus on the practice-level microsociology of organisational change in research-intensive settings, especially in healthcare. He specialises in ethnographic and comparative case studies, analysing intersubjective relations, emotions and power, and their potential to mobilise organisational change. He is an elected member of several international learned societies, including Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.; Jean Ledger is a postgraduate researcher at King's College London.; Professor Gerry McGivern Gerry McGivern is Professor of Organisational Analysis in the Organisation and Human Resource Management (OHRM) Group at Warwick Business School. His research focuses on understanding professionals' knowledge, practice, identity, leadership, and how they are affected by systems of regulation and organisation, primarily within health care systems. He has led Economic and Social Research Council, General Medical Council, National Institute for Health Research and General Osteopathic Council funded research projects, published in leading international social science and management journals, and co-authored Making Wicked Problems Governable?: The Case of Managed Networks in Health Care .

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