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Ms Angela Jenkinson

PhD Student


About the Project

Rule Following Decision Making 

Decisions may be taken as being of a good quality when the decision-making process conforms to role relevant decision making rules.  The statutory social worker's role is, in part, to make decisions on behalf of the local authority which put into effect the authority's statutory powers and duties.   

This thesis consists of: 

  • Quantitative investigations of the quality of social work decision-making, assessed in terms of compliance with role relevant decision rules, and of the degree to which decision quality is affected by an authority-imbalanced dyadic decision setting and moderated by social workers' perceptions of authority, responsibility and accountability.     
  • Qualitative explorations of social workers' decision-making processes, including content analysis of free text decisions from which descriptive rules are inferred, and thematic analysis of Think Aloud protocols in which descriptive rules are identified
  • The thesis also consists of impact work with the profession, including the production of written professional guidance on when the Care Act duties of a local authority should be carried out by social workers, informed by a consultation with 140 social workers.  This impact work was commissioned by the Chief Social Worker, Adults, England.