Social worker's perception of service quality : the case of family service setting

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Social worker's perception of service quality : the case of family service setting

 

Author: Wong, Kam-chung
Title: Social worker's perception of service quality : the case of family service setting
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1998
Subject: Social workers -- China -- Hong Kong
Social service -- China -- Hong Kong -- Quality control
Family social work -- China -- Hong Kong
Quality assurance -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Pages: ix, 92 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1446560
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5299
Abstract: With the increased emphasis on service quality in the public sector, and the issue of Coopers and Lybrand's Report on Social Welfare Subvention Review, the social welfare sector is facing the challenges of quality movement. The effect of such movement on social workers in their practice and their perception of service quality are of interest to the author. In particular, social workers working in family service centres were selected for investigation. The present study aimed to: (1) identify and examines the social workers' views and understanding of their service quality; (2) explore and identify the factors influencing social worker's perception of service quality. Qualitative research method with the interview guide approach was employed in the present study. It was employed to have a more in-depth understanding of the research topic. Eight social workers from different family service centres of different organizations (including Social Welfare Department and Non-governmental Organizations) were interviewed. As evolved from the data, six quality dimensions about social workers' service quality was identified. They are: outcome of intervention, relationship with service users, responsiveness, tangibles, competence and performance. In the present study, four forces influencing social workers' perception of service quality are found. They come from social workers' personal attributes, the organization, the environmental context and service users. In examining the social workers' personal attributes contributing to their perception of service quality, it was found that social workers with more working experience would have higher degree of acceptance with service users. They would aware of the importance of relationship in the service delivery process. On the other hand, with more life experience, social workers would have better understanding of service users. As a result, social workers could provide more appropriate service to their service users. Formal social work training provides basic knowledge and skills for social workers to enhance their competence. It also helps social worker aware of the importance of responsiveness in service provision. Social workers' fieldwork experience would have influence on their understanding of service quality. Some organizational attributes (organizational expectations on service quality, leadership, in-service training opportunities, mechanism monitoring service quality) were found to have positive impact on service quality. Whereas, other factors (workload, resource limitation) have negative impact. Such impact would influence social workers' perception of service quality. Whereas, environmental attributes (such as monitoring from Government and funders, increase in education level of citizens, trend in emphasizing citizen's fights) also influence social workers' perception of service quality. All these attributes create an environment in which social service provision is located. It was found that service users play an important role in defining service goals and service quality, through negotiating with social workers in the intervention process. Moreover, service users aware that they have the rights to receive service and to complain. Social workers are facing challenges from service users. They would then perceive "outcome", "tangibles", "responsiveness" and "performance" as important quality dimensions. In responding to these forces, social workers would use: self enhancement strategy, self enrichment strategy and policy advocacy strategy to improvement their service quality.

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