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Lost in comparison: a program theory analysis of performance measurement in social work
School of social work, Lund university, Lund, Sweden.
Department of social work, Linnaeus university, Växjö, Sweden.
Department of social work, Linnaeus university, Växjö, Sweden.
Department of social work, Linnaeus university, Växjö, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2319-4034
2019 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Since the 1990s, social work has been subject to requirements for monitoring and quality assurance. Here we examine one of the monitoring systems: Open Comparisons (OC). Gradually expanded and published online by a national agency, the OC now has around 350 indicators that cover major areas within social work in Sweden. We use program theory to clarify the operational idea in which OC is based. To do this, we analyse domestic violence data gathered from two social service organizations, from the regional level and from governmental agencies. The results show a strong normative support for OC within national level. However, OC is time consuming, its data are questionable, and its reliance on name-and-shame seems dubious. OC represents a trend in social work that may influence changes in routines and provide new kinds of performance measurements that affect how social work is organized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Audit, domestic violence, performance measurement, comparison, social work
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-46879DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2019.1690559OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-46879DiVA, id: diva2:1372305
Available from: 2019-11-22 Created: 2019-11-22 Last updated: 2019-11-22

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Skillmark, Mikael

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