Tumbler in tidal wave : the professional stance of social workers under managerialism

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Tumbler in tidal wave : the professional stance of social workers under managerialism


Author: Lai, Hung-sing
Title: Tumbler in tidal wave : the professional stance of social workers under managerialism
Degree: DSW
Year: 2015
Subject: Social service -- China -- Hong Kong.
Social workers -- China -- Hong Kong.
Quality assurance -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xiii, 234, 44 pages
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/b2840534
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8422
Abstract: Since Hong Kong Government has introduced the concept of Managerialism to the social welfare services by launching the Service Performance Monitoring System along with a subvention system reform, namely Lump Sum Grant, in 2000, the ecology of social welfare sector has changed drastically. The operation of most organizations has changed from professional orientation to managerial orientation that adopts a business inclined practice to run their services under the new competitive environment. Consequently, the management that is originally supposed to be an auxiliary servant to facilitate the delivery of services has eventually become the master to be served. Most social workers working under such climate find it difficult to exercise their professional functions as they are demanded to fulfill a great deal of managerial duties. Worse off, some appear to have lost their professional identity. This research is an exploratory study that looks into the issue by revealing the struggles of social workers under Managerialism and exploring strategies for social workers to live with Managerialism in a way without losing their professional stance. This is a qualitative research with 11 social workers being interviewed, including social work administrators, experienced frontline social workers, and junior frontline social workers. As shown in the findings, most of the informants are suffering from the impacts of Managerialism and feel demoralized, helpless, pressurized, fatigued, resentful, and perplexing. Nevertheless, this research is able to identify some strategies facilitating social workers to persevere in their professional stance in facing the assault of Managerialism. They include: "reasserting professional identity", "realizing the social work values" , "discerning the first and foremost tasks", "actualizing professional integrity" , "evoking team solidarity", "exercising personal influence, "performing collaborative resistance", and "practicing self-reflection". Since the core of social work is the social work values and to sustain such values demands social workers having a solid professional stance, the suggested eight strategies can be served as a reference for social workers to withstand the assault from the tidal wave of Managerialism and be able to stand firm again on their professional stance, like a tumbler!

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