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Title: 'So you want to be a manager?' : to what extent does the recognition and understanding of unconscious processes play a useful part in the management of frontline social work practice : an in-depth study of a Children and Families Resource Centre
Author: Smith, Sylvia
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2014
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This is an in-depth single case study of a frontline social work team based in the third sector. The Bromyard Team provided comprehensive parenting assessments in care proceedings and safeguarding matters. This research is partly derived from the author‟s own experience and makes use of ethnographic and psychoanalytically informed observations of ordinary day to day work processes in the professional team. The study aims to identify, understand and conceptualize the variety of emotional forces and relationship dynamics that impact on first line managers in social work and social care settings in order to deepen and extend understanding of these demands, and the stresses and conflicts managed by professionals in these roles. The author undertook Management Consultative Interviews (MCIs) with the managers of this service, in which they were afforded space to think about their roles and detailed field logs of researcher/observer experiences were used to gather data. The emergent data identified four emergent episodes, these were analyzed using aspects of thematic analysis informed by psychoanalytic theory. The overall findings of the study are that the first line manager often finds themselves assailed from all sides: task related anxieties that filter through the front line workers, organisational anxieties and projections that trickle down from above, wider environmental anxieties that rock the stability of services and also impact on more senior staff, personal anxieties and projections that invade the professional space and organisational/systemic anxieties arising from inter-group, cross-boundary role tensions. The author recommends that rather than being left to cope with such experiences, front line managers need effective and robust support, which would promote further understanding of the emotional and unconscious forces affecting their role.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Soc.W.) Qualification Level: Doctoral