Distribution of responsibility in inter-professional teams in welfare-to-work

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Welfare-to-work has imposed constraints on professional social work, yet
research into the exercise of professional responsibility in public welfare settings
has paid limited attention to the organizational context of professionals. This
article examines how professionals define their responsibilities and how they
shift certain aspects of their decision making responsibilities within the team and in the organization of the Jobcentre. A discourse analysis of 19 interviews with team members in Danish rehabilitation teams found three different ways of
managing tensions between different features of institutional and professional
responsibilities: deferring responsibility to the legislation, emphasizing the
importance of inter-professional team work, and emphasizing the professional
responsibility of individuals. These empirical findings are discussed in relation to
Bauman’s theory on division of work and displacement of responsibility. This
paper concludes that, while considerable organizational mechanisms are at play
that displace moral and professional responsibility, professionals seek to manage these challenges in (inter-)professionally responsible ways.
TidsskriftNordic Social Work Research
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)80-93
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2020


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