What is the purpose? Caseworkers’ perception of performance information

Matilde Høybye-Mortensen, Peter Ejbye-Ernst

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Caseworkers in welfare organisations play a pivotal part in the production of performance information (PI), since the information they record determines the quality of the PI. Previous studies have demonstrated how tasks that are considered illegitimate are stressful for the professionals performing them and are not performed properly. Caseworkers’ perception of the PI, which their recordings feed into, must therefore be of great importance with regard to how the caseworkers perform the task of recording. From a qualitative study of the production and use of PI in municipal disability services in Denmark, we gained insight into how caseworkers perceived the purposes of PI. We conclude that PI used in the planning of services to meet clients’ needs is recognised as a legitimate purpose. The distance between the manager and caseworkers seems to be important for the degree of understanding of the purpose of the tasks: The shorter the distance, the more understanding. Furthermore, caseworkers also see more subjective purposes of doing the recordings properly. Firstly, it makes management aware of the size of their workload. Secondly, the recordings serve as a documentation tool, which can be useful when clients file complaints.
Translated title of the contributionHvad er meningen?: Sagsbehandleres opfattelser af ledelsesinformation
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)458-471
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • social work and social conditions

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