Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 3 2000, page 7-26.
The foundations of a flexible and interactive working model in home care
A change of role in management
This article studies the foundations of a flexible and interactive work model in home care services for the elderly in Denmark. The starting point is an analysis of work and management roles in home care services for the elderly, and how the concept of roles can be used as a theoretical basis for the analysis. Based on observations and interviews, the paper presents a case study of home care services for the elderly in Valby, a suburb of Copenhagen. In Valby, an attempt has been made to promote flexibility and interaction with clients by introducing a new role in middle management, what is called the ‘social entrepreneur’. A prerequisite for the Valby-approach appears to be political decisions and strategic choices at macro level, as well as a bottom up development process stimulated by the social services department. Furthermore, the Valby-approach illustrates the importance of micro-management for flexibility in work and the contextual limitations of the network theories of flexible specialisation that mostly focus on macro-choices and macro-management.