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Issues » 2011/5 - Special English Issue 2011 »

Libor Musil

Constancy of Concepts of Desirable Social Workers’ Actions and Experiencing their Dissimilarity in an Organisation


The article notes the inappropriateness of a “consensual approach to the culture of an organisation” in a situation where the individualisation of identities makes differentiation of concepts of desirable actions by the personnel of social service organisations an inevitable necessity. It points out that, in this situation, the consensual view, which is accompanied by emphasis on “uniformity” and understanding dissimilarities as “deviations”, leads to a dilemma between conformity and authenticity in social workers, thereby giving rise to stress. As an alternative, the author offers the “perpetual concept of organisational culture”, which rejects the idea that co-operation is based exclusively on consensus and builds on the thought that co-operation presupposes constancy of concepts, which makes it possible to anticipate the actions of people with different concepts of the desirable way to handle clients. From this angle, dissimilarities cease to be “deviations” and may be at the heart of discussions on meaningful responses to the actions of people who have dissimilar concepts of desirable actions.


organisational culture, experiencing dissimilarity, co-operation, social work

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