chapter  2
24 Pages

The Rise of Managerialism in Social Work

ByJohn Lawler

This chapter discusses the interpretation and development of managerialism together with the impact of managerialism across the public sector in general. Services for health, housing and education, for example, are all affected by managerialism developments. The comparison of public and private sector organisations also needs to acknowledge the socio-political developments which influence their respective operating domains. Social work organisations have indeed begun to develop strategic management plans and are becoming more transparent in the establishment and progress towards achieving policy objectives. The emphasis on the strategic role of senior management is also evident in job advertisements for senior managers within social work organisations and within documents produced by such organisations, including references to ‘mission statements’ and ‘strategic plans’. The delegation of authority to managers has undoubtedly happened in social work organisations. Prior to the rise of managerialism, the purposes and processes of public sector organisations were largely decided by publicly accountable bodies and individuals.