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Organisationens mänskliga insida: om det sociala arbetets utvecklingsmöjligheter
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
1988 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The humanity of organization : a study of welfare agency (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to develop such theoretical perspectives as will increase our understanding of social work organizations, and help us improve them. Consequently, the research approach is longterm and primarily theoretical in character: What demand must be made of an organization where people deal with people?

One important assumption is that the relationships between the actors in an enterprise constitute the organization. These relations are maintained i.a. by speech-acts, and language therefore becomes one of the forms in which the organization manifests itself; the organization is to be found within the language and reveals important aspects of its own nature via the language it employs. - What, then, does the specific language of the organization reveal?

In the empirical parts of the study communication between social workers and their supervisors in a welfare agency is closely examined. This flow of communication, we assume, contains important aspects of the possibilities for the enterprise to carry out its tasks in a succesful way. A question of particular interest is that of "hierarchization principles" - concerning, for instance the conditions and principles that regulate the position of the individual in the social system, how experience and knowledge are accumulated, disseminated and legitimized within the organization, how the system of responsibility is construed.

According to the results, the organization studied did not manage to sufficiently transfer knowledge, experience and competence within the system. Furthermore, a set of norms established by the actors and maintained by them created a barrier between the organization and its users/clients. This set of norms, however, was invisible to the actors themselves.

The final chapter of the study discusses the possibility of regarding the organization as a symbol space - as an arena for legitimized acting. In such a perspective, the organization would appear as a linguistic system; an approach which could reveal hidden aspects and introduce new and different possibilities for interpretation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1988. , 279 p.
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 7
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66621ISBN: 91-7174-349-9OAI: diva2:608861
Public defence
1988-06-03, Humanisthuset, Hörsal G, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-26 Last updated: 2013-03-01Bibliographically approved

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