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Politics and power in training and learning: The rise and fall of the NHS University

Taylor, Scott; Bell, Emma; Grugulis, Irene; Storey, John and Taylor, Lee (2010). Politics and power in training and learning: The rise and fall of the NHS University. Management Learning, 41(1) pp. 87–99.

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This article examines the political processes surrounding the development and demise of an ambitious, yet short-lived, policy-based learning initiative, namely a university for the UK National Health Service. Using a Weberian framework of political action, we explore the impact of intra-organizational and macro-political dynamics on the initiative, highlighting the role of legitimate power and authority on learning within this organization. Through analysis of the practical and symbolic implications of the commitment to 'become a university', we identify sources of organizational resistance to the model of learning that the initiative promoted. Finally, we trace the traditional and rational-legal political processes whereby the initiative was dissolved by undermining the charismatic authority on which it was founded. We conclude by considering the wider implications of our analysis for understanding structures of authority in learning.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 The Authors
ISSN: 1350-5076
Keywords: corporate universities; learning; National Health Service University; NHSU; organizational change; politics; power
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 24856
Depositing User: John Storey
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2010 10:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2019 05:57
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