Hollowing out national agreements in the NHS? The case of ‘Improving Working Lives’ under a ‘Turnaround’ plan

Roper, Ian and Etherington, David and Lewis, Suzan (2017) Hollowing out national agreements in the NHS? The case of ‘Improving Working Lives’ under a ‘Turnaround’ plan. Employee Relations, 39 (2). pp. 145-159. ISSN 0142-5455

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Abstract

To consider the resilience of a national-level initiative (Improving Working Lives) in the face of local-level initiative (Turnaround) in an NHS hospital and compare to Bach and Kessler's (2012) model of public service employment relations.
Case study research consisting of 23 in-depth semi-structured interviews from a range of participants.
The principles behind IWL were almost entirely sacrificed in order to meet the financial objectives of Turnaround. This indicates the primacy of localised upstream performance management initiatives over the national-level downstream employee relations initiatives that form the basis of the NHS' claim to model employer aspiration.
The case study was conducted between 2007-9. While the case study falls under previous government regime, the dualised system of national-level agreements combined with localised performance management - and the continued existence of both Turnaround and Improving Working Lives - makes the results relevant at the time of writing.
Some studies (e.g. Skinner et al, 2004) indicated a perception that IWL was not trusted by NHS staff. The present study offers reasons as to why this may be the case.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 20674
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Ian Roper
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 15:33
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2017 12:22
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/20674

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