UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social welfare and personnel management Clarkson, Reginald Louis


The study of social welfare and personnel management is justified by the possibility of providing in the work situation the early detection and treatment of persons with social needs. The advantages of developing an increased sensitivity in personnel managers to the pathogenic conditions present in economic organizations is a further reason for studying the subject of this thesis. Encouraging results have been achieved by other professions, such as industrial medicine, which have placed themselves in the most strategic location to workers. This thesis attempts to discover what social welfare elements are present in the field of personnel management, and to map a course of action for the social work profession to follow in its relationship to personnel management groups. Data was gathered by reviewing literature that described industrial social work and/or the social welfare practices of personnel managers. Theoretical descriptions of the personnel manager's job and of his training were studied to determine the social welfare content of his general duties. An operational definition and interview structure were developed. These were used in personal interviews to provide data on the practices of seven reasonably representative personnel managers in the Greater Vancouver area. Several significant conclusions for Social Welfare were discovered in the data of this thesis. Personnel managers are directly involved in several major social welfare activities. They are concerned about the provision of income protection and health care for their employees, and are often involved in the treatment of crippling personal problems experienced by employees. Personnel managers consider their social welfare activities of vital importance to their organizations because of the effect of these activities on employee morale. Within the limits set by their organizational settings, personnel managers have a unique contribution to make to Social Welfare. The transfer of employees to new jobs and the retraining of employees are two actions that personnel managers can, and do take, to prevent individual cases of unemployment. Large organizations should experiment with the establishment of industrial social work positions. The results of this thesis indicate a need for further studies of the subject of social welfare and personnel management. The area of union relations and collective bargaining is important to the social welfare actions of economic organizations and also requires special study.

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