• The Institution That Wasn¿t: The birth, short life, and death of the British National Health Service University

      Taylor, S.; Bell, E.; Grugulis, C. Irena; Storey, J. (2007)
      This report presents a detailed account of a major educational initiative in the British health service, the organisation with the largest workforce in Europe. The initiative was to set up a `university for the National Health Service¿, an aspiration that gave birth to `NHSU¿. Work began in 2001, but the project ended abruptly in 2005. This paper is based on the analysis of a series of in-depth interviews with senior managerial staff and a review of policy documents. Our analysis explores both the political and the organisational aspects of NHSU. We conclude that two aspects of the initiative are key to understanding its demise: its politically-led nature and its challenge to the idea of a `university¿. Finally, we attempt to draw conclusions from the experience of NHSU to inform other state-sponsored education and training interventions.
    • The social construction of leadership studies: representations of rigour and relevance in textbooks

      Carroll, B.; Firth, J.; Ford, Jackie M.; Taylor, S. (2018-04-01)
      Considerations of rigour and relevance rarely acknowledge students, learning, or the textbooks many of the academic community use to frame education. Here we explore the construction of meaning around rigour and relevance in four leadership studies textbooks – the two most globally popular leadership textbooks and two recent additions to the field – to explore how these ideas are represented. We read the four texts narratively for structure, purpose, style, and application. We further embed the analysis by considering the cultural positioning of the textbook-as-genre within leadership studies as a field more generally. This exploration of the textbook raises critical questions about rigour, relevance and the relationship constructed between them. From this, we argue for a re-commitment to the genuine ‘text-book’ written to engage students in understanding leadership as a continuing conversation between practices, theories, and contexts, rather than as a repository of rigorous and/or relevant content that lays claim to represent an objective science of leadership studies.