Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Shana Vijayan

Shana Vijayan

shana_vijayan (at)

Shana Vijayan is a Research Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Her particular interest is in audit systems, as a form of socio-technological intervention, which stems from an established career in health management. She is concerned with the means and methods by which public health services are held to account. Her research investigates the development of performance cultures in private healthcare concentrating on how performance management is deployed in the United States.

Shana has a background in history and philosophy of science, with an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. More recently she completed a PhD at University College London. Her thesis explored both the proliferation and prominence of ‘performance’ in the National Health Service, focusing on the New Labour years from 1997-2010. The main objective was to understand how performance policy impacts the work-place experience: to understand the nature of work undertaken by performance managers, the tools used and the effect of these techniques. The secondary objective was to understand the goals of performance management. This thesis examined the performance managers’ body of expertise – unpacking the repertoires which served to legitimise their authority within the NHS. Here her interest in relationships of trust, notions of risk and processes of rationalisation began.

Shana’s current research project continues to consider these issues, contributing to broad debates in STS on how knowledge is created and employed by private and public health providers. She sees the strength of STS, as an academic discipline, being its multidisciplinary approach. This tradition she draws on to uncover if performance management technologies and conceptual tools used in the private sector can be successfully applied to public organisations. She evaluates how these technologies shape the healthcare they provide, bringing the rigour of evidence based research to performance management’s activities and the UK and US governments’ health policies.

Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.