Presents the results of empirical work examining public attitudes towards UK NHS managers. The findings indicate a strong lack of sympathy for managers. Discusses possible explanations for these results. The preferred explanation is that NHS managers as a group tend to share an ideology about the nature of the NHS and the role of management within the NHS which is at odds with the beliefs held by most members of the public on these matters. Explores the origins and nature of managerial ideology (managerialism) in the NHS and discusses possible reasons why the ideology might tend to be unpopular with the public. Concludes by suggesting that the traditional core values of the NHS as perceived by the public could be being violated by managerialism. This violation may be the principal cause for the low public esteem in which NHS managers are currently held.
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