• Stine Vejrup Velling
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In Denmark, there has been a shift in recent years in the perception of the psychosocial work environment, from a previous resistance to an increased attention. There is now a general desire to make it easier for employers and employees to find out about current rules in the field, in order to target and systematically prevent challenges in connection with the psychosocial work environment. Research shows, that the psychosocial work environment of social workers is significantly worse than the average of danish employees - especially in the municipal administrations in the area of children and families, and the employment area (Danish Social Counselors Association, 2018: 8). The vast majority of Danish social workers are public employees, of whom 83 percent are employed in the municipalities where they handle the Danish service production (Danish Social Counselors Association, u.å.). But "who" is the public sector? And how can it be fair, that the people who are the cornerstone of the social system, gets it worse than most from going to work?

Social work is characterized by balancing between supporting society and the individual and has the basic purpose of dealing with social problems as they manifest themselves at individual, group and societal level (Skytte, 2013:13). As a social worker, you are in a practice where the core task is to find what solutions exist within good social work, and it is thereby relevant to examine the social workers' working conditions in today's Denmark. The thesis stems from the thought-provoking reality that the people who serve as the cornerstones of the social system, seem to become ill from going to work. The thesis contributes with a snapshot, that illustrates trends within a single organization - more precisely Jobcenter Hvidovre.

This study examines how the employees of Jobcenter Hvidovre experience their psychosocial work environment. How do the employees in Jobcenter Hvidovre manage to navigate the organizational framework, what characterizes the culture in Jobcenter Hvidovre, and what significance does it have for the employees and their experience of the psychosocial work environment.

The thesis is based on philosophical hermeneutics, for which a case study is used as research design with semi-structured, qualitative research interviews as a data collection method. The research process is characterized by an inductive research process, as empirical observations form the basis for concept formations and selection of theoretical frame of reference.

The data has been analyzed with Mintzbergs theory” Structure in 5’s: A synthesis of the research on organization design” (1980), Michael Lipskys theory “Street-level bureaucracy – Dilemmas of the individual in public services” (2010) Edgar Henry Scheins theory about organizational culture and various input from Dag Ingvar Jacobsen and Jan Thorsvik, Cecilie Moesby-Jensen and Tommy Moesby-Jensen, Sverre Lysgaard, Ib Ravn, Anna Pia Holmgaard, Kjeld Nielsen amongst others, with the purpose of attaining a new understanding through a process of interpretation, based on the empirics.

Denmark and the Danish workplaces goes all in, so public employees do not get sick from going to work. Despite organizational focus and measures to ensure the psychosocial work environment, it turns out that Jobcenter Hvidovre uses a different tactic. It seems as though the employees at Jobcenter Hvidovre avoid getting sick from going to work, being burnt out and being frustrated for a long time, by creating a practice characterized by "not so much bullshit" in a system you quickly can "get really sick in”.

The study concludes that the employees at Jobcenter Hvidovre experience a good psychosocial work environment. Despite political and organizational measures to ensure the psychosocial work environment - it seems to be the culture that ensures the psychosocial work environment.
Publication date1 Feb 2022
Number of pages76
External collaboratorJobcenter Hvidovre
No Name vbn@aub.aau.dk
Information group
ID: 471666975