Discretion has re-emerged as an issue of central importance for welfare professionals over the last two decades in the face of an intensification of management culture across the public sector. This book presents an innovative framework for the analysis of discretion, offering three accounts of the managerial role - the domination model, the street level model and the author's alternative discursive perspective. These different regimes of discretion are examined through a case study within a social services department, comparing and contrasting social work discretion in an Older Persons Team and a Mental Health Team. This innovative, theoretical and empirical analysis will be of great interest to postgraduate students and researchers in social work and related disciplines including social policy, public administration and organizational studies, as well as professionals in social work, health and education.

chapter |10 pages


chapter 3|30 pages

Management and Professionals

Arguments and Perspectives on Discretion

chapter 4|20 pages

Researching Discretion

The Case Study Outlined

chapter 5|12 pages

‘Managers'—Are They All the Same?

chapter 7|16 pages

Local Managers and Practitioners

Conflict or Collaboration in Supervision?

chapter |28 pages


The Dynamics of Discretion