Assessing Managerial and Administrative Capabilities of Social Workers

Introduction

The past decade has seen mounting interest in trying to understand the role of a social worker in management. As such, professional development has become an urgent necessity in the domain of social administration, with a steadily increasing adjustments and violations of business management and general administration being enforced in leadership of organizations and institutions which provide human services.

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This research proposal will focus on how much competence and ability of the social work administrator needs in order to offer planning, controlling, leadership and organization services in the field of social work as well as other business fields which require marketing and public services. This requires enhancing and activating social worker roles in leading the organizations and institutions of human services to the advantage of social work specialists, schools, and specialized associations, such as unions (Birdsell, & Muzzio, 2003).

Developing social worker roles can be achieved by exerting regular efforts for professional development and planning at both individual and institutional levels (Darnon, Buchs, & Desbar, 2012). Still, on individual level, the planning of professional future involves developing specific ethical skills for social workers working in the field of administration. The planning of professional future should involve developing specific ethical skills for social workers working in the field of administration.

The process of marketing social work administration and professional development is closely related to the marketing methods employed in the world of business, as the main tool to achieve the goals of professional development on individual and institutional levels (Finn, 2000).

This study applies principles of marketing to the professional development in the administration of social work, which are based on the concepts of the product, the public, and the mutual relationship between them (Darnon, Buchs, & Desbar, 2012). This study will survey the distinguishing characteristics of social work administration based on combining social and human knowledge with administration technology, which is surveyed as the basis for a strategy of improving social work practice. Specific examples that are related to the efforts of ethical development will be used to clarify the principles of administration of social work and the strategies that can be applied at both levels (Gibelman, & Shervish, 1997).

Significance of problem and the rational for studying it

Interest in marketing the administrative skills of social workers has gained momentum in recent years. Rapid growth of interest in this area of study has increased competition among various managerial scholars who acquire the ability to deal with a variety of issues and problems at both individual and organization level. Another factor involves changes in regulations which allow a social worker and psychological professions to demonstrate their skills in marketing human services, which are needed by consumers. Administration involves a set of consecutive and closely related steps that have a mutual influence which eventually lead to achieving a set of goals (Abo Al-Maati, 2000).

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From another perspective, this means that administration underscores the importance of improving human relationships since having sufficient amount of raw materials, a set of machines and devices, and a number of workers do not guarantee a productive project. It is also important to have someone who can set the objectives of the project so that goals can be achieved. That person must also ensure sufficient quantities, quality, properties, beneficiaries, and funding for the production process. All of this involves officials who are in charge of administration so that the institution works and coordinates the efforts of laborers in a way that guarantee high yields from their efforts (Martin, Pine, & Healy, 1999).

On the other hand, the outcome that the administration aims to achieve is mainly concerned with people’s satisfaction, prosperity, and welfare for society. In other words, it targets a clearer foundation to provide better chances in order to secure better living standards. For the sake of achieving these human aspirations, the administration primarily functions according to laws and criteria of human judgment, and it uses performance methods and approaches that depend on human power (McNutt, 1995).

The reason behind the emphasis on this topic is related to the fact that the practicing of administration requires acquisition of several abilities and skills that enable an administrator to perform various processes and tasks that require a number of administrative abilities such as planning and coordination, organization, controlling, guidance, leadership and communication, follow-up and financing among others (Braye, & Preston-Shoot, 2006).

When a social worker obtains these administrative skills and capabilities, can she or he market them in the human institutions other than the traditional ones in the profession of social work? In other words, is it possible to nourish and promote the social workers’ abilities to enable them to market themselves in other institutions not affiliated with the profession of social work (Heron, 2006). This study will seek to point out that managers’ success does not depend on their knowledge of the basic principles of administration, their experience, or their mastering of the skills and abilities of administration, but rather on their understanding and comprehension of the nature of the work carried out in the institution under their control. This suggests that a person may succeed in the management of a certain company yet fail in another (Wong-Hammond, & Damon, 2013).

The Objectives of this Study

  1. To establish if social workers are qualified to take administrative roles in the management of an organization.
  2. To establish the challenges faced by a social worker after the assumption of administrative roles in an organization.

Importance of the Study

The importance of this study will be to provide a clarification on the roles of a social worker inside and outside the administrative boundaries. The study also highlights the marketing of these skills in non-traditional institutions within the social work profession since the social work organizations hesitate, to a great degree, to utilize the marketing methods in their daily processes due to the size and budget limitations of their organizations (Rife, & Kilty, 1990).

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Literature review

Research is basically a logical analysis and study of resources, sources and other objects so as to come up with facts and reach an inference. It is mostly used to test hypotheses and to scrutinize new information in real life. Literature review is the most fundamental stage in any given study, not only in the formulation of study questions but also in the course of scheming study.

There are different concepts surrounding management yet, very few cover management in social works. The sole aim of this part is to establish facts which will support the idea that management task should be given to social workers in non-governmental organizations. The study will also focus on suggesting various concepts which ought to be added so as to improve management skills among the social work scholars (Ivory, 2009). As such, it is fundamental to understand the relationship between various elements which results to the management process. In the first part of this literature review, the study shall focus on understanding the term management and the relationship between, planning and control in an organization (Rouwendal, 2004).

In this case, it is fundamental to understand the full meaning of management and its element in order to link the management skills with social work curriculum. Management can be defined as the course of scheming and preserving an environment in which individuals, who work jointly in groups, achieve proficiently selected objectives. In management, most basic elements includes, planning, organization, control and leading.

Control is a course that entails an orderly process through which managers can contrast actual execution with strategies, standards, intentions and take appropriate measures if divergence occurs. Planning on the other hand involves choosing assignments, aims and the action to achieve them. In this part, future processes of action are chosen from different alternatives presented by the situation (Wanberg, Watt, & Rumsey, 1996).

Organization is basically a process of arranging different tasks to various groups, and hence establishing a relationship between individuals or department, in order to achieve a common goal. In other words, organization is the course through which work is prearranged, subdivisions created and the establishment of relationships. Control guarantees that the organization moves forward towards its objectives by maximizing its assets appropriately I order to obtain maximum profit. Finally, leading is a course of manipulating human behavior so as to achieve the organization’s goals as well as the objective (Hughes, & Avey, 2010).

Control can be equated to power as it involves manipulation of human performance in enterprise activities so as to achieve a common goal. Such enterprise activities include, policy making, decision making, development of organization missions and visions as well as objective formulation (Snow, 2012). In other words, control is a dimension and adjustment of implementation in order to make sure that the project objectives and the plans invented to attain them are achieved.

On the other hand, management control can be defined as rational endeavor to set implementation values in line with the planning underlying principles, to design in sequence criticism system, to compare concrete implementation with those encoded, in order to establish whether there are any differences, gauge their consequence, and also to take any deed necessary to guarantee that all business capital are being used in the most victorious ways possible in attaining organizational objectives (Carlsen, & Andersson, 2011).

Most organizations apply control strategies to achieve their main goals. This implies that an individual with control management skills can manage an organization. It also implies that a single individual can manipulate various stakeholders or individuals in a given organization so as to accomplish a given mission. In the management process, control is a final step which is very vital in ensuring that business run smoothly in an organization.

At this juncture, conflict arises between the social workers and other management bodies such as MBA. MBA scholars argue that the social workers do not have parental role skills in relation to one’s colleagues and hence taking off management task from their faculty. Communication is an essential intermediary which allows the management to issue order through a given hierarchy. Good communication skills authorize the manager to assess and implement various objectives within the organization. As such, the person accountable in an organization must implement various communication channels which allow fast and reliable passage of information (Vinokur, & Schul, 2002).

Planning is fundamental in a control process as it forms its basis. In other words, you only control what you have planned. The main aim of controlling is to avoid deviations of core plans in an organization. Control completes the management process of planning, implementation of plans and the achievement of planned objectives. Planning sets standards from which the progress is gauged against. Inspection is also an essential form of control. It points out weaknesses and discovers areas which need the attention of the management, ensuring that all objectives are achieved (Prussia, & Fugate, & Kinicki, 2001).

There are different forms of control depending on the interest and objectives of the management. They include screening control and steering control. Screening control tend to center on how efforts are efficiently transformed into production while steering control centers on how proceedings are transformed and screened to identify discrepancies (Edwards, 1998).

There are two major level of control. They include strategic and operational control. Strategic control is often exercised by the top most personnel in an organization. It monitors overall effectiveness of the organization, output as well as the management efficiency. On the other hand, operation control mainly deals with the transformation of products into services (Eden, & Aviram, 1993).

The reason as to why the study has extensively covered major elements of management is to try and establish if social work curriculum offers such skills. Another objective of the management study is to point out major weaknesses in the social work curriculum from a managerial perspective. From the study, one can conclude that the manager’s success does not depend on their knowledge. However, their success is entirely based on control, organization, leading and planning skills which they apply in their organizations. This implies that a manager may succeed in one company but fail in another organization.

From the literature above, one can comfortably dismiss the assumptions that social workers cannot manage an organization as administrators. This is because a social worker scholar is usually equipped with planning and control skills which are fundamental in the management career (Vinokur, Schul, Vuori, & Price, 2000).

Identified gaps in the literature

The diagnostic approach suggests that the consultant must understand the purpose, structure, association, management styles, the existing incentives and other helpful instrument in the department before embarking on the process of solving a problem. The purpose of the organization includes the major missions and goals that must be fulfilled within a specified period (Cummings, & Worley, 2009).

The structure is the manner in which an institution is organized, including the existing chain of command. The department might be underperforming mainly because of the role assigned to it or the functions that it should carry out. It is advised that any consultant wishing to resolve any form of conflict using the diagnostic approach must understand the relationships that exist between various stakeholders in the organization. For instance, the relationship between the management and employee is critical in resolving the employee’s issues in the packing and shipping department. In this regard, it must be understood whether individuals work as a team and whether the multi-skilled teams consult each other in offering important services (DeKler, 2007).

Technology is known to influence the successfulness of any organization in the modern globalized market as far as management and administration are concerned, but the reviewed articles do not talk about them. The diagnostic approach suggests that the consultant intending to apply the approach should comprehend the relationship between employees and technology. The issues surrounding the underperformance of the professionals in the field of social work might be related to management, hence the understanding of the management elements employed in the running of the department is critical.

Research shows that an organization with the ability to apply transformational leadership principles has always performed well in the market. Finally, the best managerial models suggest that the helping mechanisms or the instruments, including work planning, leading, organization and control ought to be used in trying to identify the problem facing the organization. All the reviewed articles mention nothing related to this fact.

Before embarking on an extensive process of formulating a solution to the research problem, any research ought to make use of accurate data collection instruments in gathering of critical data. Unfortunately, researchers in the reviewed studies rarely make use of any instruments, yet information from participants is needed to shed light on the issue at hand (DeKler, 2007). The data collection methods ought to be quantitative since they follow some of the established standards of scientific research. Based on this, the methods tend to produce valid results that are reliable. Inaccurate results might lead to faulty conclusions, which will go a long way to affect the final decisions (Sullivan, 2010).

The use of structured data collection and measuring instrument, including fixed-choice questionnaire should be the most appropriate. Moreover, the reviewed articles do not make use of standard coding scheme that can perhaps be the most suitable method, even though its structuring is challenging (Neugeborn, 1990).

References

Abo Al-Maati, M. (2000). Management of social institutions: With practical models of Saudi society—Elite Library Fayoum—Arab Republic of Egypt, Book XI.

Birdsell, D.S., & Muzzio, D. (2003). The next leaders: UWNYC grantee leadership development and succession needs. New York; United Way of New York City.

Braye, S., & Preston-Shoot, M. (2006). On Systematic Reviews in Social Work: Observations from Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Law in Social Work Education. British Journal of Social Work, 37(2), 313 – 334.

Carlsen, J., & Andersson, T. (2011). Strategic SWOT analysis of public, private and not-for-profit festival organizations. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 2(1), 83 – 97.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2009). Organization development & change. Australia: South-Western/Cengage Learning.

Darnon, C., Buchs, C., & Desbar, D. (2012). The Jigsaw Technique and Self-Efficacy of Vocational Training Students: A Practice Report. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27(3), 439 – 449.

DeKler, M. (2007). Healing emotional trauma in organizations: An O.D. Framework and case study. Organizational Development Journal, 25(2), 49-56.

Eden, D., & Aviram, A. (1993). Self-efficacy training to speed Reemployment : Helping People to help themselves. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 352 – 360.

Edwards, J.D. (1998). Managerial influences in public policy. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 1(2), 353-383.

Ezell, M., Chernesky, R.H., & Healy, L.M. (2004).The learning climate for administration students. Administration in Social Work, 28(1), 57-76.

Finn, D. (2000). Welfare to work: the local dimension. Journal of European social policy, 10(1), 43 – 57.

Gibelman, M., & Shervish, P. H. (1997). Who we are? A second look. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Heron, G. (2006). Critical thinking in social care and social work: searching student assignments for the evidence. Social work education, 25(3), 209–24.

Hughes, L., & Avey, J. (2010). Relationships between leadership and followers’ quitting intentions and job search behaviors. Journal of leadership & organizational studies, 17(4), 351 – 362.

Ivory, M. (2009). A Code For Employers. Community Care, 1777, 4.

Martin, M.E., Pine, B. A., & Healy, L.M. (1999). Mining our strengths: Curriculum approaches in social work management. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 18(2), 73-97.

McNutt, J. G. (1995).The macro practice curriculum in graduate social work education: Results of a national study. Administration in Social Work, 9(3), 59-74.

Neugeborn, B. (1990). Career Development in Social Work Administration. Administration in Social Work, 14 (1), 47 – 63.

Prussia, G.E., & Fugate, M., & Kinicki, A.J. (2001). Explication of the coping goal construct: implications for coping and reemployment. The Journal of applied psychology, 86(6), 1179 – 1190.

Rife, J., & Kilty, K. (1990). Job search discouragement and the older worker : Implications for Social Work Practice. Journal of Applied Social Sciences, 14, 71 – 94.

Rouwendal, J. (2004). Search theory and commuting behavior. Growth and change, 35(3), 391 – 418.

Snow, T. (2012). Code of practice for support workers is vital, professional bodies agree. Nursing standard, 27(3), 8.

Sullivan, R. (2010). Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Leading Change. New York: Jossey Bass.

Vinokur, A.D., & Schul, Y. (2002). The Web of Coping Resources and Pathways to Reemployment Following a Job Loss. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(1), 68 – 83.

Vinokur, A., Schul, Y., Vuori, J., & Price, R. (2000). Two Years After a Job Loss: Long-Term Impact of the JOBS Program on Reemployment and Mental Health. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(1), 32 – 47.

Wanberg, C.R., Watt, J.D & Rumsey, D.J. (1996). Individuals Without Jobs: An Empirical Study of Job-Seeking Behavior and Reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(1), 76 – 87.

Wong-Hammond, L., & Damon, L. (2013). Financing strategic plans for not-for-profits. Healthcare financial management: journal of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, 67(7), 70.

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