The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such

Catherine Casler, Simon Bailey, Dean Pierides

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The question of how to coordinate the UK National Health Service (NHS) has been answered by drawing on a variety of discourses which constitute it as a system, institution, or, more recently, a brand. The formal organization that follows these conceptions is rarely considered with respect to organizational conduct because academics and politicians often assume, implicitly or explicitly, that organizational forms will adequately reflect and advance a particular set of values commonly held at any given time. These assumptions often demonstrate themselves to be problematic when one or another set of values becomes threatened by supposedly targeted reforms. For example, the introduction of a new legislation can be perceived to disrupt and fragment professionalised bureaucracies, or a national IT program can put into question the meaningful existence of a single ‘NHS organization’. In analysing contemporary political reforms to the NHS, we build upon Chester Barnard’s contrast between lateral and scalar formal organization, in order to shift the discussion about coordination of the NHS from a fixation on the successive ills identified in its history and present, to an elaboration of the forms of conduct appropriate to each kind of organization, and the dysfunctions inherent within each, which one should expect, and seek to govern by appropriate means. Barnard’s thinking allows us to show how the surfacing of inherent tendencies toward self-destruction in different systems of organization have not only been used to justify successive ‘knee-jerk’ reforms at the expense of “the good of the organization as such”, but also that the good can be better realised by adopting a pragmatic stance that treats the NHS as an object of ongoing coordination and cooperation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventXIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018: Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses, Responsibilities - Toronto , Canada
Duration: 15 Jul 201821 Jul 2018
Conference number: 19
https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2018/cfp.cgi

Conference

ConferenceXIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018
Number19
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period15/07/201821/07/2018
Internet address

Cite this

Casler, C., Bailey, S., & Pierides, D. (2018). The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.
Casler, Catherine ; Bailey, Simon ; Pierides, Dean. / The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.1 p.
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Casler, C, Bailey, S & Pierides, D 2018, 'The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such', Toronto , Canada, 15/07/2018 - 21/07/2018, .

The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such. / Casler, Catherine ; Bailey, Simon; Pierides, Dean.

2018. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

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Casler C, Bailey S, Pierides D. The Good of the UK National Health Service, As Such. 2018. Abstract from XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology 2018, Toronto , Canada.