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A Social Welfare Department without Face-to-Face Interaction - An Empirical Study of the Impact on Caseworkers

Schürmann, Leonard (2021) A Social Welfare Department without Face-to-Face Interaction - An Empirical Study of the Impact on Caseworkers.

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Abstract:The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly changed social interaction. Local governments have had to restrict contact with customers in order to protect health. Alternatively in many cities, communication is almost exclusively through technology, which could have implications for work and people. This qualitative case study examines the extent to which the lack of face-to-face communication with clients affects the job satisfaction of caseworkers at a social welfare department in a medium-sized German town. More specifically, it investigates whether the change in communication makes it more difficult for caseworkers to get work done and reduces satisfaction with client communication. It is found that four of the five interview participants state that they are less satisfied with their job since the closure of the office and that this is primarily due to the fact that the work is more difficult, their discretion is reduced and the relationship with the customer, due to the lack of presence, has deteriorated. Thus, using the theories of street-level bureaucracy and social presence, the study is able to show the consequences for caseworkers of communicating only through technical means in times of external shocks.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87655
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