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The future of a professional association: A causal layered perspective

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posted on 2017-12-06, 12:36 authored by G Kam Tong Fan
This study investigated the level of alliance of social workers in Singapore with their professional association, the Singapore Association of Social Workers (SASW). Currently, there is a lack of studies exploring, in some depth, membership issues amongst professional social work associations and their probable future. This study utilised a futures methodology framework, namely the 'Causal Layered analysis' (CLA) as its main research tools. A face-to-face semi-structured interview was administered to a non-proportional stratified sample of 27 qualified social workers. The main objective was to suggest strategies that would strengthen the current level of alliance between social workers and SASW, resolve some pertinent professional issues, and develop a new future for the Association. The findings suggested that respondents' views of alliances were highly influenced by broader personal, national and even global, structural and systemic issues as well as inherent organizational issues faced by the professional association. Despite social workers being critical of their own professional association, they were hopeful that it could effect positive changes for the profession. Many did not consider themselves as part of the change process; instead, they adopted a bystander stance and would only come to the rescue of SASW should it face serious threats of being dissolved. Factors that drew social workers to join and remain with SASW lie in the extent of how the Association's services, events and projects were being targeted, personalized and carried through sufficiently to add value to their current workplace achievements. There was a call for SASW to adopt strong bonding strategies that would interconnect as well as integrate social workers into a strong professional force.



Central Queensland University

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Frances Killion ; Associate Professor Les Killion

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis