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The entrepreneur: a new breed of health service leader?

The entrepreneur: a new breed of health service leader? Purpose – This paper aims to critically examine the notion of entrepreneurship in the UK National Health Service (NHS), promoted by government ministers and senior civil servants as part of the rhetoric of the modernisation agenda. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores literature on entrepreneurship in the private and public sector and qualitative case study evidence on the emergence (and non‐emergence) of “entrepreneurs” who led the improving working lives (IWL) initiative in the UK National Health Service and discusses the issues involved. Findings – The rhetoric serves an essentially ideological function, obscuring the real difficulty of securing effective and sustainable change, in organisations with deeply engrained power structures and as complex and intransient as the NHS in particular and health services more generally. Practical implications – A “new breed of entrepreneurial leaders” may eventually appear but they face the challenge of surviving in the hierarchical NHS culture and in a climate of turbulent change created by the volatility of government policy. Originality/value – The paper shows that efforts to pursue entrepreneurship in the UK NHS have to overcome obstacles involving the interplay of power, gender and language. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Health Organisation and Management Emerald Publishing

The entrepreneur: a new breed of health service leader?

Journal of Health Organisation and Management , Volume 22 (3): 15 – Jun 20, 2008

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References (62)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-7266
DOI
10.1108/14777260810883503
pmid
18700581
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to critically examine the notion of entrepreneurship in the UK National Health Service (NHS), promoted by government ministers and senior civil servants as part of the rhetoric of the modernisation agenda. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores literature on entrepreneurship in the private and public sector and qualitative case study evidence on the emergence (and non‐emergence) of “entrepreneurs” who led the improving working lives (IWL) initiative in the UK National Health Service and discusses the issues involved. Findings – The rhetoric serves an essentially ideological function, obscuring the real difficulty of securing effective and sustainable change, in organisations with deeply engrained power structures and as complex and intransient as the NHS in particular and health services more generally. Practical implications – A “new breed of entrepreneurial leaders” may eventually appear but they face the challenge of surviving in the hierarchical NHS culture and in a climate of turbulent change created by the volatility of government policy. Originality/value – The paper shows that efforts to pursue entrepreneurship in the UK NHS have to overcome obstacles involving the interplay of power, gender and language.

Journal

Journal of Health Organisation and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 20, 2008

Keywords: Entrepreneurialism; Health services; Leaders; United Kingdom

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