Connect
MJA
MJA

The scourge of managerialism and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Paul A Komesaroff, Ian H Kerridge, David Isaacs and Peter M Brooks
Med J Aust 2015; 202 (10): 519-521. || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00170

The managerialist organisational model has penetrated deeply into our institutions, with destructive consequences

Many health practitioners will consider the theory of business management to be of obscure relevance to clinical practice. They might therefore be surprised to learn that the changes that have occurred in this discipline over recent years have driven a fundamental revolution that has already transformed their daily lives, arguably in perverse and harmful ways. They might also be interested to discover that these changes have by and large been introduced insidiously, with little public debate, under the guise of unquestioned “best practice”.

Please login with your free MJA account to view this article in full

  • Paul A Komesaroff1,2
  • Ian H Kerridge3
  • David Isaacs4,5
  • Peter M Brooks6

  • 1 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Centre for Ethics in Medicine and Society, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 4 The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW.
  • 5 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 6 Centre for Health Policy, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

We are Fellows of the RACP and all have held honorary positions within it over a number of years. Paul Komesaroff was chair of the RACP Ethics EAG and its forerunners from 1995 until it was disbanded by the College in 2013, and was a member of the Therapeutics EAG, the Policy and Advocacy Committee and many other committees. Ian Kerridge was a member of the Ethics EAG from 2008 to 2013. David Isaacs is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, a former chair of the Written Examination Committee, and a member of the disbanded Ethics EAG. Peter Brooks was a member of the College Council from 1985 to 1995, Honorary Secretary from 1990 to 1995, chair of the Workforce EAG until its disbandment in 2011, a former chair of the Research Advisory Committee and the Fellowships Board, and a member of many other committees over a 30-year period. Paul Komesaroff was chair and David Isaacs and Ian Kerridge were members of the working group that prepared the guidelines for interaction with industry (awaiting ratification) between 2011 and 2014. We all advocated for a “No” vote in the constitutional referendum of 2013, were signatories to a call for greater transparency and democracy in the College, and were subject to legal action in the Federal Court by the College. Paul Komesaroff teaches ethics at Monash University, and Ian Kerridge and David Isaacs teach ethics at the University of Sydney.

  • 1. Durkheim E. The division of labor in society. New York: Free Press, 1964.
  • 2. Weber M. Economy and society. New York: Bedminster Press, 1968.
  • 3. Enteman WF. Managerialism: the emergence of a new ideology. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993.
  • 4. Taylor FW. The principles of scientific management. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1911.
  • 5. Mayo E. The human problems of an industrial civilization. London: Routledge, 2010.
  • 6. Burnham J. The managerial revolution: what is happening in the world. New York: John Day Company, 1941.
  • 7. Drucker PF. The concept of the corporation. New York: John Day Company, 1946.
  • 8. Whyte WH. The organization man. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.
  • 9. Hayek FA. The constitution of liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.
  • 10. Vinen R. Thatcher's Britain: the politics and social upheaval of the Thatcher era. London: Pocket Books, 2009.
  • 11. Beeson M, Firth A. Neoliberalism as a political rationality: Australian public policy since the 1980s. J Sociol 1998; 34: 215-231.
  • 12. Cunliffe AL. A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about management. London: Sage Publications, 2009.
  • 13. Enteman WF. Managerialism: the emergence of a new ideology. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993.
  • 14. Simmons J. Managing in the post-managerialist era: towards socially responsible corporate governance. Management Decision 2004; 42: 601-611.
  • 15. Alvesson M, Willmott H, editors. Critical management studies. London: Sage Publications, 1992.
  • 16. Hitchcock K. Dear life: on caring for the elderly. Quarterly Essay 2015; 57; Mar.
  • 17. Pollitt C. Managerialism and the public services: the Anglo-American experience. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.
  • 18. Preston DS. Managerialism and the post-enlightenment crisis of the British university. Educational Philosophy and Theory 2001; 33: 343-363.
  • 19. Saunders M. The madness and malady of managerialism. Quadrant 2006: Mar: 9-17.
  • 20. Deem R, Brehony KJ. Management as ideology: the case of “new managerialism” in higher education. Oxford Review of Education 2005; 31: 217-235.
  • 21. Clark GC. History of the Royal College of Physicians of London. Br Med J 1965; 1: 79-82.
  • 22. Royal Australasian College of Physicians. RACP governance. http://www.racp.edu.au/page/racp-governance (accessed Feb 2015).
  • 23. Klikauer T. Managerialism: critique of an ideology. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Author

remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Comment
Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Responses are now closed for this article.