FOIA and ‘Studying-up’: A Case Study

  • Mike SheaffEmail author


The chapter begins by exploring the development of policy in the NHS in the early 2000s with an emphasis upon innovation and entrepreneurialism. This provides the setting for the case study, drawing on Sheaff’s original research into failure of an NHS contract, incorporating documentary sources from official accounts and those obtained through FOIA requests. While the former largely attributed failure to exogenous factors, and errors by those in lower organisational levels, the latter allow a fuller analysis, for which Sheaff draws upon Diane Vaughan’s work on mistakes and disasters. In light of these contrasts, a final discussion considers routes to concealment of information, including an innovative use by Sheaff of requests for his own ‘personal information’ to explore how his original concerns were investigated.


Studying-up NHS governance NHS contracting Reputation Autoethnography 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law, Criminology & GovernmentUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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