The Impact of Low Morale on Social Workers within the Gauteng Department of Social Development
The researcher conducted a study on low morale of social workers in the context of their employment within the Department of Social Development in Gauteng Province of South Africa. This study was motivated by researcher’s careful observation on how the social workers negatively conduct themselves towards their respective work. Collins (2007) studied the rationale and underlying causes of social worker’s satisfaction levels in relation to their work and found that maximization of job satisfaction, implementation of appropriate stress-related coping strategies and support systems were critical in averting low morale among social workers. The researcher has also observed that social workers in the Gauteng Department of Social Development seem to be unhappy and lethargic every time they perform their duties. The main purpose of this study was to explore, describe and gain insight into two critical scenarios, firstly, to investigate low morale on Social Workers of the Gauteng Department of Social Development and secondly, to establish how low morale on Social Workers impact on the morale of their subordinates. Extensive literature is available on different research databases explaining the importance and structure of research methodology in academic investigations. Creswell (2009) defined research methodology as a systematic way including all activities the researcher intends to follow in pursuit of solving the research problem. The ontological trajectory of this investigation will be hinged and bounded within the pragmatic philosophical assumptions, wherein the researcher will follow a QUAL+quan approach. In this particular, the researcher will follow an inductive sequential method of inquiry where the “core” focus will be the qualitative and the supplementary will be the quantitative with an inductive/simultaneous logical approach. A paradigm may further be described as a research philosophy, school of thought, researcher lens or even researcher’s world view. There are three main paradigms in social science research, namely, Positivism, Interpretivism and Pragmatism. A presentation of findings and results from the pragmatic inquiry that was undertaken to respond to the topic entitled, “The impact of low morale on social workers in Gauteng Department of Social Development.”
To navigate this research, it was critical to align all procedures and activities to research objectives as follows to explore the reasons for high social work staff turnover at the Department of Social Development in Gauteng, to understand the underlying impacts of low morale and turnover on social workers, to understand effects of both reasons and impacts of low morale on those who report directly to social workers and to arrive at recommendations to the Department on the impact of this phenomenon on service delivery and the Department’s goals and objectives. This presentation is therefore divided into two main parts, the first part deals with findings from the case study bounded within the qualitative research dimension, which was the core investigation method in this study; the second part presents the results from the survey, which was an instrument used to fulfil; the supplemental requirements of the quantitative dimension (Costa,2020). For the qualitative dimension of this study, purposive sampling technique (also known as judgment, selective or subjective sampling) was used in order to attain information at each of the identified regions. The study findings were triangulated from both dimensions and conclusions culminated in three of the following thematic expressions: (1) lack of management support and poor work relations impact negatively on social workers job satisfaction; (2) Absence of support precipitates dramatic experiences that have an adverse effect on the work-life of social workers;(3) Prevalent inertia of accountability results in low morale, poor skills transfer and ultimately inadequate service delivery.
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