chapter  4
20 Pages

New Managerialism and Social Work: Changing Women’s Work

ByElizabeth Harlow

The introduction of managerialism into the public sector is also associated with an increase in workload due to fewer managers doing more work. The development of social work provided women with an opportunity for paid employment and to some extent a career. Hence, the declining status of social work and the changing content of practice particularly impacts upon women. The de-professionalisation of social workers is closely connected to the re-definition and fragmentation of social work skills and practice. It has been argued that, as the social work task has become managerialised, social workers have become managers themselves. The managerialisation of social work practice means that the relationship to social science knowledge has also changed. Management development and education became growth fields reinforced through the growing certification process. Indeed management became the driving force for a ‘competitively successful society’: managers were not only given the right to manage, they were also seen as the new super-heroes.