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The clash between standardisation and engagement

The clash between standardisation and engagement Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse how standardisation influences home care work practice. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a qualitative interview‐based case study from the elderly care sector in a Danish council. The interviews reveal care workers and administrative staffs' interpretation of how the implementation of IT and standards affects their work situation. Findings from the case study are supported by a large‐scale quantitative study regarding organisational transformations in the elderly care sector. Findings – The paper discusses how standardisation, in the form of implementation of IT‐systems and categorization tools, influences the potential for development of competencies. The findings show that an engaged practice is difficult to maintain when working under circumstances characterized by lack of time and a requirement for standardisation and documentation. Originality/value – The study provides insight into the divergence between standards and the importance of relying on experience‐based knowledge and value rational skills in relation to care work. The paper stresses the point that standards are necessary to coordinate workflow activities and support decision making. Nevertheless, it is shown that when reification dominates, the degree of standardisation will lend itself to an instrumental practice not supportive of growing competencies within the field of care giving. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information Communication and Ethics in Society Emerald Publishing

The clash between standardisation and engagement

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References (30)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-996X
DOI
10.1108/14779960810866792
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse how standardisation influences home care work practice. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a qualitative interview‐based case study from the elderly care sector in a Danish council. The interviews reveal care workers and administrative staffs' interpretation of how the implementation of IT and standards affects their work situation. Findings from the case study are supported by a large‐scale quantitative study regarding organisational transformations in the elderly care sector. Findings – The paper discusses how standardisation, in the form of implementation of IT‐systems and categorization tools, influences the potential for development of competencies. The findings show that an engaged practice is difficult to maintain when working under circumstances characterized by lack of time and a requirement for standardisation and documentation. Originality/value – The study provides insight into the divergence between standards and the importance of relying on experience‐based knowledge and value rational skills in relation to care work. The paper stresses the point that standards are necessary to coordinate workflow activities and support decision making. Nevertheless, it is shown that when reification dominates, the degree of standardisation will lend itself to an instrumental practice not supportive of growing competencies within the field of care giving.

Journal

Journal of Information Communication and Ethics in SocietyEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 4, 2008

Keywords: Experience; Elder care; Standards; Home care; Surveillance; Denmark

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