This paper investigates the managerial life and experiences of a group of service leaders in one region of the New Zealand health service. Through a complexity map methodology, creative interviewing, participant storytelling and presentation of their experiential narratives, the paper seeks to investigate how service leaders make sense of their complexity. First, the paper outlines the New Zealand health service context. Second, the paper introduces the sample of managers involved in the study. Third, the methodological framework of the study is outlined. Fourth, the data collected are described in the context of Gabriel's “tropes of story work”. Fifth, the concept of “narrative thought” is introduced to interpret the use of attributions by health service managers as a means of fulfilling their needs and desires. The paper concludes by suggesting that through narrative sense‐making managers are able to maintain a strong sense of self and identity even in stressful, pressurised, difficult and complex circumstances.
Journal of Health Organisation and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2003
Keywords: Health service; New Zealand; Management; Experience
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