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Documenting practices in human service organisations through information systems : when the quest for visibility ends in darkness

Jochen Devlieghere (UGent) and Rudi Roose (UGent)
(2019) SOCIAL INCLUSION. 7(1). p.207-217
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Abstract
Over the last decades, transparency about what is happening on the ground has become a hot topic in the field of social work. Despite the importance of transparent social work, the realisation in practice is far from obvious. In order to create this transparency for a diversity of stakeholders, legislative bodies and human services increasingly rely on so-called electronic information systems. However, it remains unclear how frontline managers make use of these systems to create this transparent practice and which obstacles they might experience in doing so. Based on empirical data collected in Flanders (Belgium), we argue that frontline managers as well as practitioners, when confronted with the obligation to use electronic information systems to document their actions and create transparency, find a beneficial element in using such a tool for the purpose of transparency. However, we also argue that the idea of transparency through documenting human service practices by the use of electronic information systems seems to be nuanced, as tension or ambiguity occurs in daily practice. Our data show that many aspects of the service user’s life story become invisible because the documenting system is unable to grasp its complexity, resulting in a lack of transparency.

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MLA
Devlieghere, Jochen, and Rudi Roose. “Documenting Practices in Human Service Organisations through Information Systems : When the Quest for Visibility Ends in Darkness.” SOCIAL INCLUSION, vol. 7, no. 1, 2019, pp. 207–17, doi:10.17645/si.v7i1.1833.
APA
Devlieghere, J., & Roose, R. (2019). Documenting practices in human service organisations through information systems : when the quest for visibility ends in darkness. SOCIAL INCLUSION, 7(1), 207–217. https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v7i1.1833
Chicago author-date
Devlieghere, Jochen, and Rudi Roose. 2019. “Documenting Practices in Human Service Organisations through Information Systems : When the Quest for Visibility Ends in Darkness.” SOCIAL INCLUSION 7 (1): 207–17. https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v7i1.1833.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Devlieghere, Jochen, and Rudi Roose. 2019. “Documenting Practices in Human Service Organisations through Information Systems : When the Quest for Visibility Ends in Darkness.” SOCIAL INCLUSION 7 (1): 207–217. doi:10.17645/si.v7i1.1833.
Vancouver
1.
Devlieghere J, Roose R. Documenting practices in human service organisations through information systems : when the quest for visibility ends in darkness. SOCIAL INCLUSION. 2019;7(1):207–17.
IEEE
[1]
J. Devlieghere and R. Roose, “Documenting practices in human service organisations through information systems : when the quest for visibility ends in darkness,” SOCIAL INCLUSION, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 207–217, 2019.
@article{8614392,
  abstract     = {{Over the last decades, transparency about what is happening on the ground has become a hot topic in the field of social work. Despite the importance of transparent social work, the realisation in practice is far from obvious. In order to create this transparency for a diversity of stakeholders, legislative bodies and human services increasingly rely on so-called electronic information systems. However, it remains unclear how frontline managers make use of these systems to create this transparent practice and which obstacles they might experience in doing so. Based on empirical data collected in Flanders (Belgium), we argue that frontline managers as well as practitioners, when confronted with the obligation to use electronic information systems to document their actions and create transparency, find a beneficial element in using such a tool for the purpose of transparency. However, we also argue that the idea of transparency through documenting human service practices by the use of electronic information systems seems to be nuanced, as tension or ambiguity occurs in daily practice. Our data show that many aspects of the service user’s life story become invisible because the documenting system is unable to grasp its complexity, resulting in a lack of transparency.}},
  author       = {{Devlieghere, Jochen and Roose, Rudi}},
  issn         = {{2183-2803}},
  journal      = {{SOCIAL INCLUSION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{207--217}},
  title        = {{Documenting practices in human service organisations through information systems : when the quest for visibility ends in darkness}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.17645/si.v7i1.1833}},
  volume       = {{7}},
  year         = {{2019}},
}

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