The power of myth in impeding service innovation : A perspective gained from analysis of service providers' narratives
The author discusses a service innovation that was intended to create "woman-centered" maternity care in U.K. health care. This innovation has now fallen into disuse. The author explores and offers a partial explanation for this failure. An unacknowledged contribution to the failure of this innovation was the power of myth. The author's perspective on this service innovation implies that a deeper grasp of the relevance of myth in creating meaning for service providers on the part of the innovators would be invaluable. For if service innovation is set up without taking into account the meaning given by employees to any changes, there will be a likelihood that implementation of the innovation will be impeded. The author recommends that narrative analysis of shared, interactively created discourses be used to gain insight into mooted changes. This approach, provided as a worked example in this article, is relevant to service managers and innovators in a range of professional settings.
Published inJournal of Management Inquiry
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