Managers: Are they really to blame for what's happening to social work?

Lambley, Sharon (2010) Managers: Are they really to blame for what's happening to social work? Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 14 (2). pp. 6-19. ISSN 0953-5225

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Abstract

Over the last 30 years a number of commentators have observed that social work in Britain is in a condition of crisis (Lymbery, 2001; Clarke, 1993; Jones and Novak, 1993) and neo-liberal policies and managerialist practices are transforming social work (Harris, 2003). The negative impact has been well documented by those advocating radical responses to increased managerial control over the processes and outputs in social work (Jones, 2001, Rogowski, 2008, Ferguson and Woodward, 2009). Some blame managers for these transformations (Jones, 2001, Rogowski, 2008, Ferguson and Woodward, 2009) whilst the media, politicians and the public continue to blame social workers when things go wrong (Cohen, 2002) even if the tragedy was unavoidable (Mass-Lowt and Hothersall, 2010). However there is evidence that some managers and social workers are working collaboratively to resist managerialism (Evans, 2009) which supports those who argue that the transformation of social work is not yet complete (Kirkpatrick, 2006). This paper explores these contradictory viewpoints and finds evidence of a range of strategies and approaches that are being adopted by managers and social workers, including collaborative approaches which need to be better understood.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Management and Leadership 2
Keywords: MANAGERIALISM; SOCIAL WORK; CRISIS; BLAME; RESISTANCE
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sharon Lambley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:56
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2012 16:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28794
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