Tightening Budget Control in Social Services

This study examines, based on a case study approach using sensemaking as an analytical lens, the consequences of tight budget control in social sector organizations. We investigate how middle managers from two Danish municipalities in social services create meaning and enact changes in practices and budgeting principles when confronted with demands to tighten budget control.
Tightening Budget Control in Social Services

In this paper, we examine whether introducing tight budget control results in resistance to changes or acceptance of financial responsibilities. Specifically, the study addresses how managerial and professional values in social work are enacted when tight budget control is introduced and how the enactment influences the perceptions and effectiveness of tight budget control.

The study indicates that tight budget control's enabling, and empowering role depends on how budgeting principles are structured. Further, the study suggests that budgeting flexibility can be enabled by tight budgeting control. Finally, the study demonstrates how professionalism does not stem from the formal attributes of organizational fields but is locally instantiated and enacted.

Read more articles from the project:

Bukh, Per Nikolaj & Anne Kirstine Svanholt. 2022. Balancing tight budget control and quality within social services in a Danish Municipality. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 26, No.3, pp. 91-113. 

Bukh, Per Nikolaj;  Karina Skovvang Christensen & Anne Kirstine Svanholt. 2021. Making sense of cost-consciousness in social work.  Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 102-126.

Bukh, Per Nikolaj & Anne Kirstine Svanholt. 2020. Empowering middle managers in social services using management cotrol systems. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management 32(2):267-289.

Bukh, Per Nikolaj, Karina Skovvang Christensen & Anne Kirstine Svanholt. 2020. Omkostningsbevidsthed i social arbejde: Fra spændingsfelt til professionalismeTidsskrift for Professionsstudier, nr. 31/september, pp. 94-105

Bukh, Per Nikolaj, Karina Skovvang Christensen & Anne Kirstine Svanholt. 2020. Styrk fagligheden, når omkostningsbevidsthed er et grundvilkårSocial Udvikling, nr 4-2020, pp. 10-16.

Bukh, Per Nikolaj & Anne Kirstine Svaholt. 2019. Styring i spændingsfeltet mellem vilde problemer og stramme budgetter. Samfundslederskab i Skandinavien, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 229-266.