The contestation of archetypes: Negotiating scripts in a UK hospital trust board

Frank Uwe Mueller, C Harvey, C Howorth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper deals with the aftermath of the creation of a new governance structure in the UK National Health Service. We conceptualize this new governance structure as a 'Trust Hospital Archetype' in order to establish the promises and limitations of an archetype transition framework. We find that the 'reality' of the 'Trust Hospital Archetype' is one involving a high degree of contestation. This is confirmed by evidence drawn from interviews, documents, observation and participant observation. In order to analyse contestation, we distinguish between three interpretive schemes - Ideological-New Public Management, Executive Pragmatism and Medical Professionalism; and we outline five scripts - challenging, critiquing, mediating, cautioning and defending. This diversity casts doubt on the usefulness of simplistic managerialism professionalism dichotomies prevalent in much of the literature. It also suggests modifications to archetype transition theory, which lends too much weight to the role of dominant interpretive schemes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1971-1995
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Management Studies
    Volume40
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

    Keywords

    • STRATEGIC CHANGE
    • PUBLIC MANAGEMENT
    • ORGANIZATIONAL-CHANGE
    • IN-ACTION
    • DYNAMICS
    • TRANSFORMATION
    • POWER
    • PROFESSIONALS
    • EXECUTIVES
    • INTERLOCKS

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