Nudging social workers towards interpretive vigilance: approaches supporting management of conduct in the workplace

Meleyal, Lel (2017) Nudging social workers towards interpretive vigilance: approaches supporting management of conduct in the workplace. European Journal of Social Work, 20 (6). pp. 935-946. ISSN 1369-1457

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Abstract

In the UK, Government Inquiries into health and social work failures have burgeoned ever more bureaucratic regulatory mechanisms for managing the conduct of professionals. This article draws on the concepts of Nudge Theory and Interpretive Vigilance to consider the impact upon the social work profession of mandatory registration (license) with a regulatory body. The author’s earlier UK based empirical qualitative study found that, as a regulatory method, registration had perverse consequences contrary to its purpose. A secondary analysis of data identified ‘nudge’ points which encouraged social workers to engage proactively with conduct issues in the workplace. Risks caused by both active and passive failures of ‘interpretive vigilance’ by social workers, who had witnessed concerning conduct of other professionals in workplaces, were identified. Criticisms of nudge theory as ethically dubious are considered in relation to the transparency of nudge interventions. It is proposed that, in the context of international concern about the inefficiency of regulation, nudge theory may be a low cost, light touch, local approach to encouraging social workers to exercise interpretive vigilance to conduct related risks and to take active collective ownership of conduct management in the work place.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 11:31
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 12:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63455

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