Paucity Management Models in Community Welfare Service

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

The juxtaposition of doing more with less', and being privileged to be a community welfare worker' gives some indication of the anomalies present in how community welfare work is conceived and manifested. The original contribution of this thesis is to provide further knowledge and understanding of the nature, level and extent of paucity management models to inform the way that community welfare services are delivered in rural communities. Paucity management relates to the way that managers identify and utilise strategies to counter the anomaly of possessing a deep philosophical underpinning in the value of community work, with the lack of means to meet all the needs and expectations of community members. Fifteen managers from the Central West Region of New South Wales in Australia were asked to share work narratives about the way their activities contributed to sustaining their communities. The research confirms yet again that community services are delivered strategically in spite of, or because of, a resource-poor environment that is mainly punctuated by the non-availability of ever-decreasing funds. New ways of seeking resources has resulted in managers and workers navigating competing priorities at ground level, with trying to balance the tensions implicit in a directive provider-purchaser work dynamic that has seen the evolvement of the hybrid government organisation. This qualitative research used a phenomenographic approach to collect the managers' stories. Data collection methods included individual interviews, focus group discussions, as well as further consultative communication. A complex theoretical framework, incorporating ideas from paucity management, aspects of structuration, and chaos/ complexity, was used to analyse the data through a structure of awareness of variation in the managers' experiences.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Western Sydney
Award date01 Jan 2008
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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