A new mode of organizing in health care? Governmentality and managed networks in cancer services in England

Soc Sci Med. 2012 Feb;74(3):340-347. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.03.021. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


We explore the argument that a new mode of health care organizing is emerging which moves beyond the established professional dominance versus New Public Management (NPM) debate. We review Foucault's work on 'governmentality', as applied to health care organizations. We specify two specific Foucauldian themes (the power/knowledge nexus in Evidence Based Medicine (EBM); and the technologies of the clinical managerial self) to analyse organizing in the English cancer services field. We introduce two qualitative case studies of Managed Cancer Networks. We suggest their governance can be fruitfully seen through a 'governmentality' lens. We consider implications for developing Foucauldian analysis of health care organizations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • England
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • State Medicine / organization & administration*