By Vivian Martin and Euan Henderson.
£16.99 ISBN 0 415 25190 7
This is the standard text for Open University students doing
the Certificate in Management at its Business School.
It has drawn heavily on material developed for the
Management Education Scheme for Open Learning backed by the Department of
Health, Institute for Health Care Management, the Social Services Inspectorate
and OU. The five logos on the book speak eloquently of the responsibility with
which the materials are presented.
As a primer for managers, particularly those moving into
management roles for the first time, the book will be invaluable. It covers the
range of managerial activities and is backed with case studies and practical
examples which point up relevant approaches.
Targeted at health and social care professionals, the
materials are relevant and have kept pace with the fast-changing world. Best
Value and the 1998 White Paper Modernising Social Services are both
included, although the challenges to management posed by the Health Act 1999
flexibilities and the accelerating pace of change in primary care came too late
to be reflected in the text.
The strength of the book lies in the comprehensive treatment
of all aspects of management from leadership style to outcomes, from customer
focus to budgetary control. The exercises can be used in the work setting as
well as the teaching context and will be helpful for staff development.
Like many textbooks it is not a book likely to be read from
cover to cover. But every chapter contains something of relevance for the
manager with a balance of case material drawn from both health and social care.
The genesis of the book is also its sole weakness – it
sometimes seems to reduce management to a technocratic function, and doesn’t
capture the daily reality for many of managing increasing demand with
decreasing resources and demoralised and demotivated staff!
Terry Bamford is a social care consultant.