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Middle managers in social work: Professional identity and management in a marketised welfare State
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2015 (English)In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 45, no 6, 1871-1887 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With respect to marketisation and managerialism, the changes in the Swedish social services resemble the changes in many other countries. This article analyses how Swedish middle managers within the personal social services reason about professional identity, everyday work and leadership in the context of these changes. The study draws on four focus group interviews with a total of twenty-two managers. The results suggest a persisting social work identity among the managers, although noticeable changes have taken place within the social services. For example, the managers' budgetary and administrative responsibilities have increased, and relations to private companies in the area of residential care place new demands on their managerial skills. The managersseem to find some of the new conditions easier to integrate with their social work identity than others. The resistance to the reforms appear to be less obvious in Sweden than in, for example, the UK. There are a number of possible explanations for this. For example, it may be connected to the relatively mild implementation of marketisation and managerial strategies, a less apparent downsizing of social work and a relative lack of central state bureaucratic control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 45, no 6, 1871-1887 p.
Keyword [en]
Social work management, leadership, professional identity, managerialism, marketisation
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106784DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu061ISI: 000361828300014OAI: diva2:739012
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2014-08-19 Created: 2014-08-19 Last updated: 2015-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Shanks, EmelieLundström, TommyWiklund, Stefan
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