Implementing innovations in the context of the declared and actual readiness to change of social assistance workers
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Centre for Family Research Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń,
Publication date: 2020-10-01
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2020;49:85–100
Contemporary society around the world is highly volatile and therefore any support system that responds to the real needs of people must be constantly evolving. As a result, new and innovative solutions appear in the social welfare system. However, the analysis of public policies and programs shows that many good ideas are not implemented in the daily work of employees who directly support clients. There is a resistance on their part to novelty and their openness to the implementation of new concepts is limited. The aim of the article is to analyze the phenomenon of openness to change. The study was conducted on a group of 186 social welfare workers (132 social workers and 54 family assistants). Two research categories were adopted: declared and actual openness to change. The results of the study showed that social assistance workers declare a high level of openness to change, but their measured level of real openness is actually low. Although employees declare great support for new solutions, they do, in fact, have very low tolerance for uncertainty and the ability to take risks, which is inherent in the implementation of innovations. Thus, a gap arises between the declared and actual value. This discovery is crucial for the successful implementation of innovations and may be one of the more important obstacles to its realization. It is necessary to change the current approach and broaden the activities preparing for implementation of new solutions so that the actual readiness to change of employees is at a sufficient level.
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