Supervision in Social Work

Supervision in Social Work

Supervision in Social Work

Supervision in Social Work

Synopsis

This third edition addresses the place and function of the supervisor in the social agency, updating long-standing controversies such as the conflict between professionalism and bureaucracy, and addressing the question of social work autonomy within organizations. The book discusses how dwindling resources have forced social work practice to become more results-oriented in a limited time frame. A new chapter explores what supervisors should teach and new sections have been added on feminist supervision, development supervision, the parallel process in supervision, and the ecology of social work supervision.

Excerpt

Supervision is a special aspect of organizational administration. When a number of people are brought together and are then provided with the necessary equipment and facilities to get a particular job done, there needs to be systematic coordination of effort if the objectives of the group are to be efficiently accomplished. The systematic cooperative, coordinated effort of a group of people in getting a desired job efficiently accomplished, if sustained for any period of time, leads inevitably to the development of some kind of formal organization of the work. Schein (1970:9) defines organization as "the rational coordination of the activities of a number of people for the achievement of some common explicit purpose or goal through division of labor and function and through a hierarchy of authority and responsibility." More tersely, Blau and Scott (1962:1) define an organization as "a social unit that has been established for the explicit purpose of achieving certain goals." Organizations are thus "consciously planned and deliberately structured" so as to increase the probability of achieving organizational goals and objectives.

A bureaucracy is a specialized kind of organization. The term "bu-

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