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Organizations and Social Worker Well-Being: The Intra-Organizational Context of Practice And Its Impact on a Practitioner’s Subjective Well-Being

Author: MICHEAL L. SHIER and JOHN R. GRAHAM
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 36 No. 1

This study aimed to better understand the varied factors that contribute to social worker subjective well-being (SWB) (the social science concept for happiness). Using qualitative methods of inquiry 19 social workers who reported having low to medium levels of workplace and profession satisfaction were interviewed to assess those factors within their lives that they perceived as impacting their well-being. One thematic category from the analysis was aspects of the intra-organizational context of workplaces that can impact social worker SWB. Respondents identified interpersonal workplace relationships, decision-making processes, management/supervisory dynamics, workload and workplace expectations, access to resources and infrastructure support, and inter-organizational relationships as key intra-organizational factors contributing to their overall wellbeing. In conclusion, these findings have practical application within organizations for structured policies and unstructured practices to improve social worker subjective well-being.

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