, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 417-436

NHS Trust Chief Executives as Heroes?

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Abstract

This paper presents a reading of the transcripts of interviews withNHS Trust Chief Executives. Using a poststructuralist understanding ofthe interviews, it privileges a reading that (ironically) representsthese Chief Executives as heroes. Following the classic hero story line,they leave the civilized order of home and journey into a threateningwilderness where they encounter dangerous and magical things butovercome them all because of their masculine characteristics such asrationality, strength and resourcefulness. One way in which thesestories can be understood to have significance is that they(misleadingly but powerfully) portray management as obvious andnecessary by evocatively drawing on a myth of ancient origin. The piececoncludes with some reflections on the ontological implications of theanalysis and reflexive comments on the production of truth as aproblem.