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Coping with Citizens and Stress: Interaction Strategies during Public Service Delivery within Health Care, the Police, and Social Work
Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg.
Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg.
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Work and Social Pedagogy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6358-3528
Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous research and theory suggests that frontline workers adapt to workload-related stress in a number of ways, interacting towards or away from citizens, or even against citizens, but what are the actual practices of coping, and how is coping related to stress? The data comes from a web-survey sent to 990 public sector frontline workers in West Sweden during 2018 within the police, health care psychiatry, and social work organizations. The findings show that there are significant differences in stress: highest average level among social workers, followed by police officers, and heath care psychiatry. Four ways of moving towards clients – through prioritizing motivated clients, rule bending/breaking, instrumental action, or using personal resources – and three ways of moving away from clients – through aggression, by rationing, or routinizing – are revealed (H1). Prioritizing and aggression are most common within the police, rule bending/breaking and routinizing in social work, and instrumental action within health care (H2), but only instrumental action does not significantly increase stress, on top of individual characteristics and organizational demands and resources (H3).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. p. 0-20
Keywords [en]
Street-level bureaucracy theory, front-line workers, citizens, coping, stress
National Category
Social Work Work Sciences
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Social work; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Public administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14074DiVA, id: diva2:1335479
Conference
3rd Street-level Bureaucracy Conference, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, June 11–13, 2019
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2014–2351Available from: 2019-07-05 Created: 2019-07-05 Last updated: 2019-07-05Bibliographically approved

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Berlin, Johan

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
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