Managing organisational change in social care: a review for practitioners and managers

Tim Freeman Completed   2013


This study found: successful management of change is a core requirement of the role of all adult social care managers in all settings and sectors; change management is less researched in adult social care than in some other industries and sectors, including health care, and lessons may not be always be simplistically transferrable due to the different contexts, challenges, stakeholder and cultures; organisational change often involves asking people to accept new arrangements that they may not be familiar with or indeed initially endorse. Agreed underlying principles are important to guide practice in such circumstances and to ensure that the values that undermine social care practice are maintained; organisational change and the setting of outcomes from such change should be co-produced with those who will access the services concerned; a successful change process can be a means to develop trust between stakeholders and gather learning for future initiatives; action research, appreciative inquiry, lean and soft-systems methodology are approaches which have potential relevance within adult social care services, but none are likely to work in all contexts. There are a range of management tools which can support their successful implementation; sufficient capacity and resilience of the team leading the change, good project management, and support from senior management are vital for any change approach to succeed.

Managing change in social care
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