Samhall, a different angle?
Samhall is an organization that recruits what is viewed as the least attractive people on the job market. The ones who are called occupationally disabled (the term was created by the National Employment Office in 1975) and offer them employment according to the same conditions as other work organizations. Samhall is also one of the largest subcontractors in Sweden with partners such as international corporations, municipalities and government agencies. In 2006 Samhall had about 22,000 employees, and a turnover of approximately 1,1 billion dollars as compensation for their employees alleged needs “for a work environment specially adapted to their individual disabilities”. This makes Samhall Sweden’s most geographically spread welfare organization. Their aim can be divided into three sections, political, social and economic. The first aim is to distribute welfare, which is political, second to rehabilitate people with disabilities, which is social and third keep business going, which is economic. Still the main purpose of Samhalls existence is to provide “professional and personal rehabilitation, for instance, strengthening of self-confidence, increasing independence and developing valuable competence”(Holmqvist p. 5).
The purpose of this report is to analyse the case Samhall – A Report on a Swedish Welfare Organization, 2007 written by Mikael Holmqvist. The analysis will be based on the facts shown by the statistics which suggests that only a small amount of Samhall’s employees leave after entering, and also that many return even though the goal is for the occupationally disabled to become undependable on welfare. This suggest failures in the system which was set up with the help of the National Employment office, a system which studies the development of the employed through three stages, recruitment, rehabilitation and transition (Holmqvist p. 7). The analysis will be performed based on the literature of Frederick Winslow Taylor (1911) Philip Selznick (1957) Herbert A Simon (1945) A.O Hirschman (1994) Elton Mayo (1930) Rotschild, J. and Miethe, T. (1994)
The organizational structure recruitment:
Samhalls primary task “…is to develop people.” (Holmqvist p. 7). Who is in need of this development? The case states that features such as lengthy, unsuccessful efforts to find work by oneself or with the help of National Employment office, if one has deviant behaviour during meetings, difficulties in reading information from the National Employment Office or in understanding information given verbally, physical abnormalities, problems in completing a written job application and/or in using computers when searching for job opportunities at the National Employment Office, and difficulties in communicating in Swedish (Holmqvist p. 10) are signs of an occupationally disabled individual.
Occupationally disabled could also just mean immigrants “This is the group which is hard to place in the working society, having one ask “What do we do with this kind of person when employers can pick and choose?” (Holmqvist p. 36). According to administrative officials many employees belonging to this group have been met with the attitude which says “we want the best, we don’t accept second-raters” (Holmqvist p. 13). If one does not agree, or refuse to accept that one belongs to this group, then it is the administrative officials job to convince the person that he or she has a functional disorder that should be coded as an occupational disability (Holmqvist p. 22). In the end the deciding factor is not the individuals experience as being occupationally disabled but the administrative officials experience with occupationally disability (Holmqvist p. 21). If the administrative official is uncertain, he/she can call in an expert, for example a doctor, a psychologist or counsellor” (Holmqvist p. 14). Because...
References: Frederick Winslow Taylor, 1911, The principles of scientific management. New York, London: Harper & Brothers
Selznick, Philip. Leadership in Administration; a Sociological Interpretation. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson, 1957.
Simon, Herbert A. Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization. New York: Free Press, 1945.
Hirschman, A.O. (1970), Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, Harvard, Harvard University Press
Elton Mayo, 1933, The human problems of an industrial civilization. New York, The Macmillan Company.
Rotschild, J. and Miethe, T. (1994), “Whistleblowing as Resistance in Modern Work Organizations”. In J. M. Jermier, D. Knights and W. Nord (Eds), Power and Resistance in Organizations. London: Routledge.
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