Paucity Management Addresses the Limit-situations of Human Services Delivery in Rural Australia

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Just as several authors have written about the limitlessness of globalisation, so too does the practice of paucity management reach across all boundaries of society. Its practice relates particularly to the way that rural community welfare managers, operate within an environment of resource poverty. Increasingly, the private sector creep of financialisation across the human services[1] profession has had an impact on the roles of people within those organisations whereby their services are being scrutinised continually to show value-for-money in a market-driven environment. Managers are constantly trying to balance and 'trade off' actions and activities, in order to manage ethically and professionally. Paucity management is management in complex situations, which at its best addresses ways to deal with potentially limiting situations such as rigorous accountability regimes that could debilitate service delivery. It involves a series of innovative and creative practices such as subtle partnership arrangements to counter the effects of operating within resource-poor situations. In this paper I discuss my PhD research conducted with community welfare managers[2] from the Central West Region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Drawing upon an eclectic theoretical foundation, the paper will discuss aspects of the phenomenographic research process and minimal findings that relate to several limit-situations of human services delivery, as well as implications of paucity management to address those situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-311
Number of pages15
JournalRural Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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