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How do managerial techniques evolve over time? The distortion of “facilitation” in healthcare service improvement

Kislov, R and Humphreys, J and Harvey, G (2017) How do managerial techniques evolve over time? The distortion of “facilitation” in healthcare service improvement. Public Management Review, 19 (8). pp. 1165-1183. ISSN 1471-9037

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Abstract

When applied to solving real-world problems in the public sector, managerial techniques are likely to evolve over time in response to the context of their implementation. The temporal dynamics of this evolution and its underlying processes, however, remain under-researched. To address this gap, we present a qualitative longitudinal case study of a UK-based knowledge mobilization programme utilizing “facilitation” as a service improvement approach. We describe the processes underpinning the distortion of facilitation over time and argue that an uncritical and uncontrolled adaptation of managerial techniques may mask the unsustainable nature of the resulting improvement outcomes captured by conventional performance measurement.

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