Chefsroll och ledarskap inom socialt arbete : En kvalitativ studie om enhetschefers syn på att vara chef inom LSS-verksamheter
This study is based on interviews with five unit managers working in the functional disabilities business. The purpose of this paper is to examine how these unit managers see their roles and their leadership, and to give the reader an insight into what it might entail to be a manager in social work. Theories applied are the role theory and three leadership theories. The previous research this study made use of affects “leadership in social work" and "manager's role and leadership style."
Being a unit manager of the functional disabilities business means having a so-called middle management position, which entails expectations being directed upon them from various avenues. The results show that managers in this study specifically identify that their guidance is being directly affected by the absence of a job description, which according to the managers means they are forced to rely on themselves to construct a framework for their own professional capacity. The interviewed managers say that the lack of a job description causes a number of negative consequences, not only on their personal roles but for the business as a whole. Examples of such negative consequences have shown that the unit managers are not always certain of what is included in their role and how to prioritize between different tasks. According to the managers, the absence of a job description is ultimately driving large variations between different units in terms of how managers work.
However, the results also show that the lack of a job description is affecting the managers performance in their ability to make confident, executive decisions. Factors affecting management and leadership in social work highlighted as important include education, social skills, ability to understand individuals in a group, self-awareness and humility. An important point to be emphasized is that education does not automatically make a person a good manager and leader, the personal qualities are essential.
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