Social Work Management and Its Relevance to the Social Work Profession

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SOCIAL WORK MANAGEMENT AND ITS RELEVANCE TO THE SOCIAL WORK PROFFESSION LAUREN DA SILVA

Introduction. ...........................................................................................................4

The social work profession ........................................................................................5 {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} Definition of management.........................................................................................7 {text:list-item} What is social work management?............................................................................8 {text:list-item} {text:list-item} Case Study: Management in One Way Community Services....................................13 {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} Conclusion.................................................................................................................19 Appendix 1................................................................................................................20 List of Sources...........................................................................................................21 INTRODUCTION: Management and the study and refinement of management sciences are by no means a recent field of study. Basically, as long as human beings have been organizing themselves in groups to fulfil a common purpose or goal, some form of management has been employed to keep things under control, running smoothly and more effectively. In fact, one of the earliest recordings of a management technique can be found in the Christian Bible in chapter 18 (verse 25) of the book of Exodus where after encountering numerous problems resulting from being the only direct report to millions of Israelite people, Moses decides to “choose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens” (Exodus 18:25 New International Version). Considering management has been used by human civilization since the beginning of its existence (even if it is done completely unwittingly), I find it rather surprising that management as a field of study has only been in existence since around 1890, when Frederick Taylor developed the “Scientific Management Theory”, which characterized the emphasis on scientific measurement of tasks and use of highly mechanized, assembly line and routine activities by workers (Very Brief History of Management Theories). From between 1930 and 1950; Taylor’s management theory began to give way to Max Webber’s “Bureaucratic Management Theory”. He “focused on dividing organizations into hierarchies, establishing strong lines of authority and control” (Very Brief History of Management Theories) and emphasized detailed, standardized operational structures with very little room for flexibility (Very brief history of management theories). From then on human rights groups like trade unions began to heavily influence governments which in turn began creating legislation which reacted to these inhuman management structures. Human resource divisions were added to companies and it became common to relate the prosperity of the organization to the wellbeing of its employees. Added to this, breakthroughs made in the human sciences fields of study played a strong role in helping management to understand and take into consideration the needs of workers (Very brief history of management theories). So, with the momentum that management as a field of study has gained over the past century and the mark that it has left on organizational functioning (hopefully for the better) as it has developed, it’s relevance to the social work profession is an important topic of discussion. Over the course of this...
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