Management in Human Service Organizations


Social organisations have various types of workers, such as full timers, part-timers and volunteers. As a matter of concern, social workers, who work in an organisation, are expected to act as other employees. They could be relating with an organisation in three ways:

  • As an employee
  • As a union member
  • As a professional

This term paper has concerned about the situations and the related significant matters regarding the role played by the social workers. This is made to simplify the identification of the role of the social service administrators.

Scope of the Study

The term paper is prepared mainly to magnify the problems, challenges, roles and tasks of social service administrators in human service management and critically review the implementation of managerialism in social service organisations. After completing this term paper we can get a perfect idea about the roles played by the social workers in an organisation and the problem regarding these roles.

Objective of the report:

  • To identify the meaning of social work & the duties of the social workers.
  • To know what is the difference between the social workers while playing each of the roles.
  • To spot out whether there is any conflict exists in these roles played by the social workers.
  • To explore if there is any distinguishing effect on the promotion of users welfare
  • To magnify the problems, challenges, roles and tasks of social service administrators in human service management.
  • In order to analysis the execution of managerialism in the social service institutes.


This paper uses the secondary data sources such as Internet as the main source of the data. This paper just simplified the various data and relates them with my objectives to get a new but holistic and meaningful scenario. The paper has accounted Oxfam international as an instance of the social work organisation. The first part of the report, introduction, describes why the job is done and how it’s been done and the methodologies. The second part of the report describes the main matter of concern, the management in human service organisation. The third part of the report describes about the findings or outcomes of the report. The fourth part is to foster the recommendations of the subject. The next part concludes the study and then bibliography.

Perfection of the social workers and social service organisation

The objectives of social work are to do the betterment of the peoples’ living condition in a society. As a member of a society, every human being feces different types of problems in their daily day to day life. Social service refers to help these people out with some meaningful and relief solutions. Social service or work at a larger term implies the professional view to help and assist the people as a whole. This is a profession dedicated to communities, families and individuals.

There are distinct categories of social services. For instance:

  • Institutional: assistance has been given to an institution.
  • Personal: assistance has been given to individual person.
  • Focus problem: assistance has been given to specific criteria of problems.

Social workers

The employees who perform the social activities are treated as a social worker. A social worker may be a professional one or can be a non paying employee. A social worker can help his client in any given day. The social workers have to do a vast variety of jobs. Such as:

  • To help people or clients to solve personal and family problems.
  • They help the clients to solve various social problems like shelter, unemployment so on.
  • They also help about various types of disabilities (Physical or Mental)
  • They can also conduct research to find out the actual of the problems.

There are various categories of Social workers. These can be discussed as follows-

  • Group workers: These categories of employees are those who mainly help others by using counseling technique which assist public to understand themselves as well as others. Activities for children, teenagers and senior citizens are the key activities of them.
  • Community Social Workers: Community Social Workers are doing their service through some community organisations and manage the pains of political, civic, religious, business, and union organisations to cure social problems.
  • Caseworkers: they prefer to use interview technique in order to identify troubles. They mainly help them to obtain the needed social services, monetary support, learning, or job exercise. These employees focus characteristics is that, usually they are specialized in a specific area, for example health services, or a exact social difficulty, including criminal behaviour, drug violence, and poverty etc1.

Social Workers have much more self motivation than the employees of business organisation. Their high motivation leads them to be dedicated and volunteering. Thus the make different in such way-

  • Social workers are initially more apprehensive, cautious and highly enthusiasm. They are not eager for the tangible benefits but emphasis on community or national interest.
  • Human service organisations have bargaining and consultative practices. With this virtue social workers uphold better customers and service relations.
  • Social workers customary hierarchic relations that are quite visible at every of their workshops get much more apparent and practically higher outcomes from the business employees.
  • The most significant issue raised for social workers as human resource training generate more development in consideration work culture, productivity, technological, communication and cooperation2.
  • Some times social workers may face political pressure in several issues; therefore, social organization should provide specific guidelines, training and instruction to overcome this problem.
  • The activities of the social workers are different from other employees as a result to get better outcomes from them an organization should impose the dialogue process. By this way organization achieve practical advantage for instance it create improved working environment3.
  • There should not exist sex discrimination in social organization and it should required to provide equal opportunity for improvement of that organizations.

How social workers relate to an organisation

Social workers are closely related with the organisations. They may be work as an employee in an organisation or they may be hired by the organisations to help them in a certain matter. The social workers may be a normal employee who has no straight forward tasks of social work in the organisation, but help the organisation or the other employees voluntary when the situations demands. The social workers may be work as professionals with the organisation.

The important side of a social worker is that, they can act differently as a union member when they join in a union. Unionization is now a globally accepted and a common worldwide scenario. When the social workers are act as union members, their work will certainly be changed. The basic thing is that, the major characteristics of a social worker maybe changed positively or negatively when they work as an union members.

Roles played by the social workers in an organisation

It is clear that whatever task a social worker does or however he is related with the organisation, social workers play some significant and influential roles inside and outside the organisation. Organisations depend largely on them and they asked for their assistance whenever a problem has aroused. From the discussion above, we can see that the social workers have played mainly three generic roles in an organisation. These are as an employee, as a professional and as a union member.

Social workers as employees

Employees are those who work in an organisation for a specific payment structures and under some other employees and management structure. They are not independent staffs and the workers of these organisations may involve this career for their living needs. But they play their role as a social worker when needed. They can work as a fulltime employee or as a part timer.

As employee, a person has certain responsibilities and duties to perform. Here, they are not bound to do social work; rather they are bound to work through the goals selected by the organisation. However, they can execute social works beside their usual activities.

Social workers as Union Members

To know about the topics we at first centralize our focus on union and unionization.

Trade Union: Trade Union is a legal framework of workers movement where workers come to unite with each other, exchange views share their problem and unite with the common goals. In UK trade union has a long glorious hasty of two hundred years. Trade Union provides an excellent opportunity to the management to negotiate with the employees. Simultaneously when employees move for strike, trade union leaders meet the management and let them to know the demand of employees and negotiate with the management in favour of its members. Trade unions cannot at once increase wage and other benefit up to the stage that put off profits being made. The firms are marketing their goods and services produced by its workers in a highly profitable range. The Trade Union can threat management to reduce production for the incensement of their wage and benefits4.

UK’s Equal Pay Act- 1970, Sex Discrimination Act- 1975, Disability Discrimination Act- 1995, Race Relations Act- 1976 and Employment Rights Act 1996, ensure trade unions means any combination of workmen or employees or employers formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or, for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct or any trade or business and includes a federation of two or more trade unions. Mentioned Acts provide the right to join unions and, with government approval, the right to form a union.

As a member of the union, the worker has some regulation to work within or outside the organisation. He has certain boundaries or limitations to work. So, as a social worker, a union member might face several problems.

Social workers as professionals

Professionals are refers to the free and independent people, who are hired by an entity or a person to perform a certain task or job. When social workers work as professionals, they do not bind to the organisation by any means. They are invited by the organisation to perform for a certain problem for a certain point of time. They help the organisation for overcoming a special type of problem and for this they are rewarded with a fee.

As a professional, social workers can be able to help the organisations fairly and as because they are free here, the solution will not be biased. From here the term “Human Service Management” comes into action.

Human Service Management

The organisations which are providing social services to the society at large are called social work organisation. The management of the social works related to the wellbeing of the human and society is referred to as the Human Service Management. The ultimate goal of the Human Service Management is to indicate the proper way of helping others and to measure the effectiveness of the work of the social workers.

Conflicting situation

Conflict is a term used to denote any clash or disagreement or disparity or inanity between two or more person and/or entity. This is a matter of concern because the conflict is not only harmful to the organisation but also to the individuals as well. Conflict can be harmful in many ways. For instance: it may cause strikes and stop the production for which the organisation may face cutoffs in profits, it may be hampers the working conditions or the environments for the workers, in a conflicting environment the productivity of the employees generally declines and decrease the profit.

Effects of the conflicts

As a result of the conflict, there arise various negative affects. The failure of production, the sudden stop of a company operation, layoffs of workers which cause unemployment, the increase of other costs rather the production costs, scope of hostile takeovers of the organisations and so on.

In individuals, the effect of conflict is less harmful but these effects are not a matter of over simplified. Another important aspect is that conflicts are not harmful always. It may have some positive sides also.

Social workers roles and conflict

As we mentioned earlier, the 3 roles played by the social workers posses some sort of conflicts. A social worker has some limitation when he performs as an employee, he can’t do whatever he desires. For example: Think about a situation when a social worker find that one of his colleagues facing problems with the managers of the organisation, he can not do anything as because he is not have the permission to do social work inside the organisation at office hours.

As a union member, a social workers job and the ultimate goal of the union can be contradictory. For example: if the union demanded an increase in salary and start a strike, which may be harmful to the some other people, a social worker cannot to go against the union. Thus his role as a social worker conflicts with his role as a union member. As a professional, the social worker is asked for the assistance but there might be conflict also. For example: if the organisation asks to assist in such a matter which goes against the greater public interest, the social worker may have to become confuse whether to do or not.

Promotion of users’ welfare: he Key Question

The users, who are ask for the assistance from a social worker or social service organisation, is the main goal of a social worker. The ultimate goal of a social worker is to do the welfare of the user. But the conflicting situations mentioned earlier have posed a question: when the conflicts arise, what should the social worker do? Should he continue with his user or should he leave the work? Here, the main concern is that, the user welfare may increase the conflicts.

Focus on the solution: what have to be done? In order to resolve the inconsistency, there should be executing something. Here we come to the perspective of the Human Service Organisation. As an organisation, they can create certain mechanisms to resolve the conflicts. They may use some rules and regulations by heir own or they can employ the rules of government strictly. That is when a user asked for a problem which is illegal by the rules of the organisation or by the government; they can say that the action might be go against the existing law and just quit. Another way to resolve the conflicts is to use some scientific technique like design their management in a manner that can be useful in such a situation.


Solution or not: As mentioned d earlier, design the management using techniques are represents by the term “Managerialism”. It is an ideological framework often used negatively than favorably. When it is treated as principal, ideology appears as reasonable and it needs no name. The standard assumption is that management is a science. And it is the legitimization of management. However, it never queries illegitimate hierarchical influence.

The cardinal issue of managerialism is that the distinctions between such institutions as are less significant than the resemblances, and that the activities of all groups can be optimized as a result of the application of basic management proficiency and hypothesis. It pursue that the vital element of institutional modification is the removal of impediments to the right to manage5. The pursuit of efficiency is managerialism’s main goal according to managerialism.

Here the key point is the cost benefit analysis of a situation and the ultimate right of the management to prohibit a work or not. The effect of managerialism toward the social workers is high and for this reason we can use managerialism as a solution to the conflict. When the central power of decision making is held by the management, the social workers can be organised by the recommendations of the management. The management may ignores the socially unaccepted doings of the user and thus reduce the conflict of the social worker. It is being assumed that management is much more influence than the social workers alone. Social workers may find anything conflicting which may be overcome by the technically equipped management.

Manager & employee relations

Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, et al (2006) mentioned that to foster good employees relations, managers ought to listen to and understand what employees are saying and experiencing, keep them knowledgeable about what management plans to do with the business, and inform them how those plans possibly will affect their jobs. They would also give employees the freedom to air grievances about management decisions. 6 There may be good reasons for not changing the decision, but management should least listen to the injustice. However, effective employee relations needed cooperation between managers & employee relations representatives. The specialists are members of the HR department who act as interior consultants to the business. They are frustrating to ensure that employee policies and procedures are followed and advise both employee and supervisors relations problems. Employee relations policies provide channels to resolve such problems before they become grave.

Developing Employee Communications

Jani K. R., (2006) argued that the most significant factor to change to change the employee relations is developing communication. Many companies have found that the key to a good employee relations program is a communication channel that gives employees access to important information and an opportunity to express their ideas and feelings. When supervisors are proverbial with employees are aware of their rights, there is less opportunity for misunderstandings to arise and productivity to drop.

Jani K. R., (2006) also added that, for corporations are very complex, they must develop numerous communication channels to shift information up, down, and across the organisational formation. For instance, Oxfam provides many Communications channels that permit employees and managers to speak with one another and share information.7 Managers communicate with their employees through walking around and taking to them informally, sponsoring newsletters, and providing web based communication with key employment policies and other forms of face to face contact. As today’s organisations have delegated more responsibilities and decision-making more information available to employees has increased substantially. To develop effective employee relations, a company needs communication channels to move information up, down and across the organisation.

Analysis of Oxfam as a Social Worker Organisation


  • Oxfam’s open brand position and it’s quality image increases its profit and popularity rapidly
  • It has practice and efficient employees to serve the service
  • Employees are professionals, volunteers, members and affiliates.
  • It has superior technological support
  • It has websites to offer service all over the world,
  • Oxfam work with more than 1000 partner organisation with 71 countries.
  • It has strong network of main strength
  • To provide service, it maintain strong administrative control


  • Oxfam’s service system has maintained by Companies Act 1985 but later passing the Companies Act 2006 and Charities Act 2006, the charities rule is altered. So it service may affected for this new Act. Now it is essential for Oxfam to change all the documents in light of these Acts.
  • Relatively smaller budget for advertisement and promotion.


  • It has the opportunity to provide quick service with high satisfaction
  • Spread their service by new campaign
  • It has strong capital for further expansion its service


  • Previous year some fraudulent activities occur by the customer, it can be threats for this company.


  • Social work means to work for the betterment of the society. Social workers do the social works and help the other people to solve their different types of problems.
  • Social workers are very important for not only the society but also for the organisations. As because organisations are a part of the society, the social workers can do the betterment of the organisation.
  • When the social workers work in an organisation they act as employees, union members and professional. The work has to be done in these three ways are quiet different nature and ask for different considerations.
  • There exists some significant conflict in the different roles played by the social worker. These conflicts are mainly arising because of the weekly designed management structures of the social service organisations.
  • This distinguishing effects the promotion of user welfare and hamper the service giving process of the social service organisations. These make the job of the social service administrators job challenging and for this the role of social service administrators varies dramatically.
  • The main challenge of Social service administrator is to make perfect promotion of user welfare. They play separate roles in different condition but they suffer problems regarding the conflict of diverse roles.
  • “Managerialism” may be helpful to work out here and make the job easy for the social workers. It is the systematic way to manage a work efficiently by cost and benefit analysis. Social workers can work under these systematic techniques and expected to overcome the conflicts.
  • Recommendations
  • As a member of the society, social workers and social service administrators have to face several challenges and problems. As because social workers and social service administrators plays different roles, their might arise conflict. To resolve the conflicts and to promote the user’s welfare some scientific and systematic technique such as “managerialism” can be applied in the human service management process. In a human service organisation, the rules and regulations and centralized and efficient, powered management system must be introduced. It will help the social worker to promote the users welfare as well as the betterment of the society.
  • Conclusions
  • From the above discussion it is clear that social workers and the social service administrators face s conflicts while playing various roles. Managerialism can help them to overcome such conflicts. Human service organisations may take these recommendations and find it helpful to promote their users welfare.


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  1. Sivananthiran, A. and Ratnam, Venkata, C. S.; Social Dialogue At Enterprise Level Successful Experiences, Inter national Labour Organization (ILO),
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  5. Jani K. R., (2006)