Social work professionals’ management of institutional and professional responsibilities at the micro-level of welfare-to-work.

Bidragets oversatte titel: Socialarbejderes håndtering af institutionelt og professionelt ansvar i den aktive beskæftigelsesindsats

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Tensions between professional knowledge and values, and institutional
rules and regulations in welfare-to-work practices targeting vulnerable
clients have been well established. How these tensions are managed at
the frontlines of welfare services is crucial for the effects on both clients’
and frontline workers’ own professional roles. However, we have little
insight into the ways this is actually done in routine practice. Based on a
micro-discursive analysis of 97 team meetings in 3 Danish municipalities,
I examine how social work professionals manage their professional
responsibilities within the institutional context of welfare-to-work.
Findings suggest that team members enact a dual orientation to
professional and institutional responsibilities, characterised by the
shifting between professional and institutional discourses. Second, when
a dual orientation cannot be managed, the institutional obligations
overrule the professional ones. This is characterised by contrasting
discourses and giving primacy to ‘documenting’ the case. The findings
suggest that the question of how frontline workers manage institutional/
professional tensions is less about an inherent opposition between
institutional and professional rationales than a matter of the structured
enactment of these rationales in interactions between professionals
within the institutional complex
Bidragets oversatte titelSocialarbejderes håndtering af institutionelt og professionelt ansvar i den aktive beskæftigelsesindsats
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Social Work
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)30-42
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2 jan. 2020


  • Welfare-to-work
  • institutional discourse
  • professional discourse
  • social work profession