Most social workers and community welfare workers are employed in organisations. Understanding organisations and acquiring organisational skills are essential if workers are to address issues of social justice and respond to the needs of consumers. The authors argue that the concepts of power, influence and authority are central to understanding the relations between social workers and organisations. They critically examine a range of topics including organisational environment, goals structure and culture, the dilemmas of frontline work, responding to consumer needs, change and resistance in organisations, and the challenges posed by 'managerialism'.
As well a providing a sound theoretical introduction, Working in Human Service Organisations has a strong practical emphasis. Each chapter explores practice issues and implications, and includes a case study based on a real-life, Australian situation.
Andrew Jones and John May lecture in the Department of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Queensland.