Dr. Yeung Ka Ching


20 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Lecture 1


Dr. Yeung Ka Ching

Management in Human Service Organizations (BSW

SOWK 0055 )

Social Service Management (MSW

SOWK 6243)



in all business and human organization
activity is simply the act of getting people together to
accomplish desired goals and objectives.

Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading
or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one
or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of
accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the
deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial
resources, technological resources, and natural resources.

Management can also refer to the person or people who
perform the act(s) of management.

Management is doing things right;

leadership is doing the right things.


How to manage human service
organizations effectively?

A first step is being able to stand back from the organization
to look at it critically and creatively. It helps with this to have
an understanding of how human service organizations work;
to think about how we define a human service organization,
how such organization operate, what background ideas
influence their management, and what new thinking is
affecting them.

(Liddell, 2003:7)

An organization consists of
individuals and groups of people
who come together to pursue particular goals and
objectives…. It has identifiable boundaries

that is, you can
distinguish it form its environment and form other
organizations it relates to. The organization has stability in the
sense that it is in existence over a period of time, and it
maintains relationship with and responds to individual,
groups and organization in its environment.

What is Human Services?

In 1980 when the U.S. Department of Health, Education and
Welfare was disbanded and a separate Department of
Education created, the new name chosen was the
Department of Health and Human Services.

Behind the increasing popularity of the term, “human
services,” is a recognition that the range of services provided
by government to directly assist its citizens has greatly

Human services in the United States are a bewildering range
of programs, funded, regulated and delivered by a mix of
governmental and non
governmental organizations.

Human Services

The definition of human services depends in part upon who
is articulating it. Yet in spite of the ambiguity of the term, a
group of services do exist which are meant to better the life
and life opportunities of citizens, are coordinated more or
less well and are administered by organizations which share
common managerial perspectives and tasks.

Delivery of human services is mainly through non
governmental organizations such as hospitals, nursing homes,
senior citizen centers, schools.

However, some are deliver by government bureaus directly.

Provision of Human Services

A basic commitment to private philanthropy and voluntarism
in delivering services to the needy;

Intervention by the government as a last resort;

Increasing funding for programs, often through a
, and in pursuit of what are initially perceived as
national security needs.

Distinctiveness of Human Service

Human services, as a class of organizations, share a unique set of
characteristics because they all work with and on people

and English, 1974: 8

The fact that “raw material” consists of people vested with moral
values affects most of their activities.

The service technologies must be morally justified because every
activity related to clients has significant moral consequences. (e.g.
assigning grade)

The organization and its staff are limited by what they can do to
their clients and how they carry out their work with them; and,
because clients are self

entities, the organization must
develop acceptable

to attain their compliance.



The goals of human service organizations are vague,
ambiguous, and problematic

namely because it is more
difficult to agree about achieving the desired welfare and
being needs of people than it is to transform inanimate
objects. While consensus may exist at the abstract level,
implementation necessitates that human service organizations
make normative choices in a society that is characterized by
interest groups upholding competing values and norms (e.g.
how hospitals should treat the terminally ill, educational



The moral ambiguity surrounding human services also implies that
they operate in a turbulent environment. That is, their
environment is composed of many interest groups, each
attempting to achieve its values and aims through the organization.

For example, the juvenile court encounters:

The police who are interested in removing troublesome youth

Child advocacy groups who want the court to provide treatment

Judicial interest groups who stress the need for due process

Governmental officials want to curtail the costs of operating the
court and its services.

Moreover, these groups and their interests change over time.


indeterminate technologies and in
complete knowledge

Human service organizations must operate with
indeterminate technologies that do not provide complete
knowledge about how to attain desired outcomes. Because:

People represent extremely complex systems; their attributes
are highly interrelated and yet vary from person to person, i.e.
the “raw material” are variable and unstable.

The knowledge about how people function and how to change
them is partial and incomplete

Many of the attributes human service organizations are asked to
transform cannot be observed or measured



The core activities in HSOs consist of relations between staff
and clients. These relations serve as the vehicle and the tools
through which the organization takes jurisdiction over the
clients, assesses and determines their needs, works to
transform them, and accomplishes some desired results.

That is all essential tasks of HSOs are carried out by a series
of transactions between clients and staff. The nature and
quality of staff
client relations, therefore, is a critical
determinant of the success or failure of the organization.

When patients distrust their physicians, they are less likely to
heed their advice or follow their directions. When students
dislike their teachers, their motivation to learn suffers.

Quality control!?

Yet the quality of these relations is not readily controlled by the
organization because it is affected by the personal attributes of
both staff and clients.

Because of the primacy of staff
client relations, the position and
role of line staff is of particular importance in HSOs.

The essential services are provided by lower status (or front
staff who, as a result, exercise considerable discretion in
performing their duties. The problems that follow are how to
monitor and supervise? Numerous legal, ethical, ideological,
technical, and economic reason limit the abilities of the
organization to monitor these relations.

Therefore, lower status staff exercise more autonomy than they
might be formally granted. A big challenge to the management!

Make a customer,

not a sale.





A customer’s satisfaction

is the gap between

what the customer


what the customer

H. Gross


Evaluation of effectiveness

HSOs lack reliable and valid measures of effectiveness, and
therefore, may be more resistant to change and innovation.

The multiplicity and ambiguity of organizational goals, the

of the service technologies, and the inherent
difficulties observing and measuring human attributes
together contribute to the difficulties in evaluating service
outcomes and assessing organizational effectiveness.

The lack, for example, of valid and reliable measures of the
effectiveness of psychotherapy may actually lead practitioners
to ignore new technological developments.

Jones and May (1992)

As human service organizations have become more business
oriented, the lines have become more blurred. Jones and May
use three categories to identify human service


Technology (the nature of the work)



The overall goals or vision of HSOs generally reflect an overall
purpose like, for example, “to meet the needs and contribute to
the well
being of their consumers, and to contribute to overall
social welfare.”

Usually vary in how explicit about their purpose and their
underlying values. In practice, the purpose is often complicated by
the variety of expectations both within the organization and from
outside it.

In commercial organizations, there is a clear, dominant value

making a profit; otherwise organizations would not survive. In
comparison, in human service agencies, there are usually a
number of conflicting values and … they are equally viable.

Inbuilt contradictions of HSOs’ purpose

To the general public these organizations … are viewed as symbols
of the caring society, a manifestation of the societal obligation to
the welfare and well
being of its citizen. But they are also viewed
as wasteful, fostering dependency, obtrusive and controlling …
Public assistance, for example, serves both to alleviate misery and
to deter “undeserving” poor’. (
, 1992: 3)

Moral nature of work in HSOs which means that decisions are
constantly based on values. These may be implicit or explicit,
subtle or obvious. Workers too may be more or less conscious of
their own biases and preferences.

Worker as agents of social control?

Generating income vs. providing services

The problem with mission statements is:

they’re rushed,

they’re announced, and then

they’re ignored.

Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The nature of
the work


, Y. and R. A. English. Eds. Human Service
Organizations. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan
Press, 1974.

Liddell, M. (2003). Developing Human Service
Organizations. French’s Forest NSW, Pearson