Kompletterande, kompenserande och komplicerande

– informell organisering i IFO:s barnavård


  • Pär Grell Avdelningen för socialt arbete och kriminologi, Akademin för Hälsa och arbetsliv, Högskolan i Gävle




formalisation, specialisation, informal organisation, child welfare, personal social services


Complementing, compensating and complicating – informal organisation in Swedish child fare work

The child welfare work within the Swedish personal social services (PSS) is clearly marked by formalisation and specialisation. It is guided by a diversity of national and local guidelines, while different units assume responsibility for specific tasks (e.g., intake, investigation and decision, or care and treatment). A risk of service fragmentation has been identified as a substantial downside to these organisational settings. However, prior research has mainly focused on formal organisational structures and how work is ‘supposed to’ be carried out. Less attention is paid to informal organisation, namely how work is ‘actually performed’ on day-to-day basis, which has been identified as an important but often overlooked aspect for understanding organisational performance.

Therefore, the aim was to describe and analyse the influence of informal organisation in child welfare cases. Non-participating observations and group interviews were conducted in 11 Swedish municipalities. The findings show that informal organisation can ‘grease the wheels’ in child welfare cases: firstly, by complementing formal structures and offering alternative channels for collaboration and information exchange; and secondly, by compensating for gaps in areas of responsibility within the formal organisation, such as when staff offer informal care and support, even though their work is supposed to specifically focus on investigation and decision making, or individual social workers assume an informal case management role. Nevertheless, informal organisation was also found to complicate work, as unregulated and informal areas of work also allow the conflicting interests and work logics among different units and their staff to unfold. The findings are finally discussed in relation to the future organisation of social services.   




Referera så här

Grell, P. (2024) ”Kompletterande, kompenserande och komplicerande : – informell organisering i IFO:s barnavård ”, Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, 30(4), s. 839–860. doi: 10.3384/SVT.2023.30.4.5060.