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Social Work Tomorrow: Towards a Critical Understanding of Computers in Social Work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1997
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Journal number6
Volume27
Number of pages11
Pages803-814
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper makes use of theoretical ideas that have been developed to understand the impact of new technology on organizations and applies them to its use within social work agencies. These developing theories employ ideas that are familiar to social workers—organization theory, decision making theory, and communication theory. The paper therefore argues that social workers are in a good position to understand and influence the use of computers within welfare agencies and do not need to be inhibited by a lack of technological knowledge. It is further argued that, unless social workers do become involved in the ways in which new technologies are used within organizations, they will fail to influence its impact upon their clients and may further fail to control the way in which computers affect the nature of social work itself in the future.