Health Care Analysis

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 417–436

NHS Trust Chief Executives as Heroes?

  • Mark Learmonth

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013816919776

Cite this article as:
Learmonth, M. Health Care Analysis (2001) 9: 417. doi:10.1023/A:1013816919776


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.

hero management myth NHS poststructuralism qualitative research 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Learmonth
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Health & Social Care ManagementThe University of York, Alcuin College `D' Block, HeslingtonYorkUK

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