Leading Communities of Practice in Social Work. Groupwork or management?

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Gray, Ivan ; Parker, Jonathan ; Immins, Tikki (2008)

Social work in the UK has undergone a period of momentous change in the last decade with the introduction of a ‘modernising agenda’ that has increased managerial approaches to the organisation, development and delivery of services. Whilst posing a threat to some, these approaches are embedded and social workers must find ways of working within them to synthesise appropriate responses that promote the values and cultural heritage of social work within the new context. This paper considers the possibilities offered by communities of practice to develop learning organisations in which a managed and participatory approach to social care can be generated. A\ud super-ordinate model of contending cultures is developed and practice that draws on and is predicated by groupwork principles is presented as a potential way forward.
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