Complex and conscious. Case study of a change programme in a UK local authority adult care service through a complexity and psychoanalytical lens

Moore, Tanya (2019) Complex and conscious. Case study of a change programme in a UK local authority adult care service through a complexity and psychoanalytical lens. Journal of Social Work Practice . ISSN 0265-0533

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Abstract

This paper offers a case study of a large UK local authority adult care department as it introduces a new practice model. The change programme is examined through a lens of complexity theory. Complexity offers a way of understanding constantly changing systems and uses concepts such as ‘feedback loops’ and recognition of ‘emergent’ behaviours to offer a means to anticipate patterns of change in otherwise unpredictable systems. In this study, complexity is found to offer a helpful understanding of behaviour across the complex adaptive system of a large organisation but it falls short at recognising the cause of behaviours that can be obstructive. The author suggests the use of psychoanalytic theory to acknowledge the emotion that might be the driver for resistance to change and notices how effectively the two theories applied together can bring rich understanding as well as strategic oversight to a complex social care system. This study provides a useful, theoretically informed insight into change management and leadership within a social work agency that is moving away from transactional practice and promoting creative, autonomous, relationship-based practice. The study advances understanding of how complexity and psychoanalytic theory can be used in tangent to support organisational change within social care.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 26 Nov 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complexity, Change Management, Strategic, Planning, Leadership
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Organisational Development
Social Welfare > Social Services
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2263

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