On the character of the new entrepreneurial NHS in England: Reforming health care from within?

Damian Hodgson, Simon Bailey, Mark Exworthy, Michael Bresnen, John Hassard, Paula Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent health care reforms in England, combined with financial austerity, have accelerated both corporatization and commercialization in the English National Health Service (NHS) and this has encouraged greater public sector entrepreneurialism (PSE). We advance this argument by examining the meaning and experience of corporatization in this sector, illustrating our argument with qualitative data from a specialist hospital at the forefront of this trend. We demonstrate how the policy and practice of corporatization is entangled with increased commercialism and how this shapes more entrepreneurial conduct from staff. Framed in terms of the recursive relationship between organizational dynamics and individual behaviours, we focus empirically upon the shifting epistemic boundaries associated with increased corporatization, describing the dissonant effects of these shifts upon individuals, their attempts to compartmentalize, and the ethical dilemmas that result. Through this case we draw conclusions about the emerging impact of corporatization, commercialization and public sector entrepreneurialism across public services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-355
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2022


  • Corporatization; Commercialism; Entrepreneurialism; Healthcare management; Qualitative research


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