Diaries from the front line - formal supervision and job quality among social care workers during austerity

Cunningham, Ian and Lindsay, Colin and Roy, Chandrima (2021) Diaries from the front line - formal supervision and job quality among social care workers during austerity. Human Resource Management Journal, 31 (1). pp. 187-201. ISSN 0954-5395

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    Abstract

    This article analyses perceptions of job quality among social care workers (CWs), captured as part of cultural probe research, and comparing experiences across the public, private and voluntary sectors. We confirm the continuing degradation of extrinsic components of job quality, while noting that intrinsic factors sometimes mitigate negative impacts on CWs. Specifically, we highlight the importance of supervisory support as a source of feeling valued, coping, learning, critical reflection and intrinsic reward. However, we also note that this arguably crucial component of CW job quality has come under pressure in an era of austerity, while flatter organisational structures and limited pay incentives raise barriers to progression into supervisory roles. The article concludes by identifying sector-specific priorities for policy and practice in order to repair job quality in social care.

    ORCID iDs

    Cunningham, Ian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3738-156X, Lindsay, Colin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2493-6797 and Roy, Chandrima;