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Title: Living management : an action research inquiry into a modernising role
Author: Watt, Linda.
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol,
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2005
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This action research inquiry is a reflexive examination of a corporate 'Modernising' role in a local authority in England, during the period 2000 - 2002. The researcher is the manager who carried out that corporate role prior to, and during the period of the research process and thus the Inquiry significantly involves first person critical reflection on 'self in role'. The inquiry draws on second and third tier managerial experience in a unitary local authority undergoing managerialist reforms. The dynamic of central/local relations in the context of the New Labour Modernisation agenda was a major influence for local government managers, in the context of developments in local governance, with the accompanying intensification of 'New Public Management' practices and controls. This action research inquiry has deployed multiple research methods to explore the implications of centralised direction and controls and related issues for the experience of 'self and organisation'. The research methodologies were a programme of interactive interviewing, involving fifteen managerial colleagues in differentiated functions, autobiographical exploration and use of a reflective journal as a data source. The research findings include a reflection on the research process itself as being a vital aspect of the knowledge generated during the inquiry. The thesis incorporates a critical theoretical review, drawing on relevant theoretical sources particularly in relation to theories of the state, with reference to forms of control in central/local relations, management theories with reference to managerialism including the gendered impact of managerialism and theories of the self with reference to self identity and self governance. Relevant academic comment is integrated throughout the thesis. The research findings highlight the impacts of centralised control on local authorities as institutions of governance and the effects of developments in the means of control, for managers and 'managing' in the context of central/local relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available