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Konsten att verka inom orimlighetens gränser : En studie om socialsekreterares strategier för att hantera sin arbetssituation

Esaiasson, Sanna LU and Vallin, Anna LU (2012) SOPA63 20121
School of Social Work
Abstract
Social Work Education today places great importance to convey values such as respect in the relation between social worker and client, and to embrace a user perspective in the professional practice. Yet, many clients find themselves mistreated and ignored and experience social service work as arbitrary and inaccessible. The purpose of this study is to examine what takes place in the encounter between social workers' professional ambitions and the organizational conditions that the work situation is characterized by, and more specifically, how they experience and cope with this. In our study we used the qualitative method and conducted semistructured interviews with seven social workers working with financial aid within four different... (More)
Social Work Education today places great importance to convey values such as respect in the relation between social worker and client, and to embrace a user perspective in the professional practice. Yet, many clients find themselves mistreated and ignored and experience social service work as arbitrary and inaccessible. The purpose of this study is to examine what takes place in the encounter between social workers' professional ambitions and the organizational conditions that the work situation is characterized by, and more specifically, how they experience and cope with this. In our study we used the qualitative method and conducted semistructured interviews with seven social workers working with financial aid within four different organizations. In the analysis we have used Lipsky's theory of street-level bureaucrats as well as Hirschman's theory of exit, voice and loyalty. Our results and previous research shows many social workers experienced a conflict between the organizational conditions and their own ambitions, mainly because of a heavy workload and lack of time, which can also be seen as a conflict between organizational demands and professional goals. Since initiatives to change the work conditions often were not heeded, social workers were left to choose between simply working to much, either because of loyalty to the organization or a strong commitment to the clients needs. Another strategy for coping with the situation was to change the ideas about their work and views on responsibility and in some cases develop a certain cynicism. Yet one strategy was to obstruct against rules and guidelines, or to threaten either with strike or leaving their jobs in order to achieve change of the organizational conditions. Also leaving the job was described as a solution when not being satisfied with either work conditions or the character of the work. Finally another method to deal with the situation was to find ways to create more space for the social workers' own ambitions in their current work situation. (Less)
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author
Esaiasson, Sanna LU and Vallin, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
course
SOPA63 20121
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
social workers, exit voice and loyalty, Street-level bureaucracy, financial aid, job situation
language
Swedish
id
3049496
date added to LUP
2012-09-05 14:10:52
date last changed
2012-09-05 14:10:52
@misc{3049496,
  abstract     = {Social Work Education today places great importance to convey values such as respect in the relation between social worker and client, and to embrace a user perspective in the professional practice. Yet, many clients find themselves mistreated and ignored and experience social service work as arbitrary and inaccessible. The purpose of this study is to examine what takes place in the encounter between social workers' professional ambitions and the organizational conditions that the work situation is characterized by, and more specifically, how they experience and cope with this. In our study we used the qualitative method and conducted semistructured interviews with seven social workers working with financial aid within four different organizations. In the analysis we have used Lipsky's theory of street-level bureaucrats as well as Hirschman's theory of exit, voice and loyalty. Our results and previous research shows many social workers experienced a conflict between the organizational conditions and their own ambitions, mainly because of a heavy workload and lack of time, which can also be seen as a conflict between organizational demands and professional goals. Since initiatives to change the work conditions often were not heeded, social workers were left to choose between simply working to much, either because of loyalty to the organization or a strong commitment to the clients needs. Another strategy for coping with the situation was to change the ideas about their work and views on responsibility and in some cases develop a certain cynicism. Yet one strategy was to obstruct against rules and guidelines, or to threaten either with strike or leaving their jobs in order to achieve change of the organizational conditions. Also leaving the job was described as a solution when not being satisfied with either work conditions or the character of the work. Finally another method to deal with the situation was to find ways to create more space for the social workers' own ambitions in their current work situation.},
  author       = {Esaiasson, Sanna and Vallin, Anna},
  keyword      = {social workers,exit voice and loyalty,Street-level bureaucracy,financial aid,job situation},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Konsten att verka inom orimlighetens gränser : En studie om socialsekreterares strategier för att hantera sin arbetssituation},
  year         = {2012},
}