What is good work? On the efforts to sequence registers of valuation in child protection casework

Ida Schrøder, Amalie Hauge, Emilia Cederberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose: This paper investigates how employees of a disciplined hybrid organization – a public child protection agency at the intersection between the market and the public sector – work with different kinds of performance evaluations in their day-to-day activities.
    Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on a one-year ethnography of valuation practices in a Danish local government. Fieldwork material was collected by following casework activities and documents across organizational boundaries. The paper draws on theoretical concepts from valuation studies, notably the notion of registers of valuation, as a means to differentiate the various practices of valuation, when and where they clash, and what is done to resolve such conflicts.
    Findings: Four different registers of valuation existed: Feeling, theorizing, formalizing and costing. To denote the meticulous efforts to navigate the registers of valuation, we propose the notion of sequencing. Sequencing is an ongoing process of moving conflicting registers away from each other and bringing them back together again. Correspondingly, at the operational level of a hybrid organization, compartmentalization is a means of avoiding clashes, and in doing so, making it possible for different and sometimes conflicting ways of achieving good results to persist together.
    Research limitations/implications: The single-case approach allows for analytical depth; however, it may limit the generalizability of the concept to other settings. The relevance of sequencing could be tested in future research on hybrid organizations.
    Translated title of the contributionPræstations vurdering: Om arbejdet med at koordinere tilgange til værdisætning i sagsbehandling om udsatte børn og unge
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
    ISSN1368-0668
    Publication statusSubmitted - 28 Nov 2020

    Keywords

    • managerial economics
    • social counseling
    • organization theory
    • out-of-home placement

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