Variability as a Source of Stability: Studying Routines in the Elderly Home Care setting
2008 (English)In: Human Relations, ISSN 0018-7267, E-ISSN 1741-282X, Vol. 61, no 11, 1617-1644 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose - Looks at the work of care workers who support elderly people who remain in their own homes, examining the extent to which they follow the routines set out in the care plans and the extent to which they varied these.
Design/methodology/approach - Presents case studies of two Swedish home-care providers, drawing on interviews with care managers and participant observation of visits of care workers to older people's homes. Assesses the reasons for the variation in the way that the care workers carried out their work and the impact of this variability on the overall quality of the service.
Findings - Identifies the care plans as being sources of consistency and also variation as they could not cover all the situations that the care workers met when they visited the older people. Reports that the care workers were guided as much by what they feel was right in the individual circumstances as by the official care plans. Notes that this meant that care worker who were committed to their job offered more support than the care plan required whereas those who disliked the job offered less. Sees this as underlining the emotional-ethical dimension of this type of work and, consequently, the difficulty of predicting and controlling performance. Research limitations/ implications - Describes the research methods.
Originality/value - Examines the factors that affect how routines are carried out.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 61, no 11, 1617-1644 p.
Employee Attitudes, Job Design, Performance Management, Service Quality, Social Care, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24826ISI: 000259957800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-24826DiVA: diva2:198387
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74872008-05-062008-05-062011-04-06Bibliographically approved