Transforming Social Services Departments: Becoming Learning Organisations

By Despina Cochliou.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

During the last decade, Information Technology and Management Information
Systems (MIS) in particular have performed an important role in the world of Social Services Departments (SSDs). They have affected social services in different ways, in terms of organisational outcomes, performance improvements and technological advances. However, these developments neither take place synchronously in every single SSD, nor they were always successful. That is a result of the lack of financial investment on IT and the inability to recognise the advantages of its utilisation. Therefore, the main concern of this paper is MIS implementation within social services and how they affects social work practice and management of the organisations. More specifically, how could IT contribute to improve social services in the way they function as organisations and in the way they provide services to their clients? The paper suggests that social workers participation in MIS implementation can reduce resistance and increase the system’s usability for practitioners. As a consequence of that they will consider MIS as a practice tool rather than as a controlling tool. Moreover, they will use the system to record and document their professional knowledge consisting of intervention, skills and observation.

Keywords: Practitioners’ Participation, Management Information Systems, Organisational Knowledge

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.131-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 543.962KB).

Despina Cochliou

Senior Lecturer, Sociak Sciences Department, Social Work Programme, Intercollege, Nicosia, Cyprus

Despina Cochliou is lecturer of social work at Intercollege in Cyprus. Her main research interests are: The social care agency as a learning organization, qualitative methodologies in social work research, Management Information Systems in social services and organizational knowledge creation in social services.

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