Thematic Panel 1 – Managing care priorities in practice: Leadership dilemmas in different contexts

Thematic Panel 1

Managing care priorities in practice: Leadership dilemmas in different contexts

Conveners and Discussants:

Helene Brodin, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, and Sara Erlandsson, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, Sweden

This thematic panel aims to inspire and advance research on the prioritizing dilemmas that face managers of social care for children, frail older adults and adults with disability in various organisational and national contexts. Although policymakers generally make the overarching priorities about the structuring and distribution of social care services, it is usually managers of social care services, who put policy priorities into practice.

Given that social care policies seldom are explicit regarding how to make priorities between different user groups or how to balance budget limits without affecting users’ entitlements to services, managers of social care services are often forced to base their daily decisions on policies characterised by conflicts between ends and means. Against this backdrop, this session aims to develop research exchange and advancement among scholars interested in exploring the dilemmas of leadership among social care managers in various organisational and national contexts. This research takes into account how social care managers prioritize when ends and means do not meet at the organisational level, and how they experience that their priorities affect the distribution of care services. The session welcomes papers addressing topics, such as, the degree of discretion granted social care managers in relation to priorities set by superior managers at higher organizational levels; on what basis do social care managers make their priorities; what dilemmas and conflicts do social care managers experience in making priorities; how do the priorities of social care managers affect quality of and equality in care provision; and critical interfaces between priorities of social care managers and care policies or social care legislation.

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