Bureaucratic orientation and counselling in contrasting settings

Scott, David (1993) Bureaucratic orientation and counselling in contrasting settings. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The objective of this thesis is to explore the relationship between bureaucracies and counselling. More specifically, this research will examine how bureaucratic structures influence counsellors' attitudes and occupational behaviour. Based on the distinction between autonomous and heteronomous bureaucracies, two contrasting work settings were defined and operationalized. The attitudes of counsellors were measured using the concept 'bureaucratic orientation' and counsellors' jobs were examined using the dimensions standardization and specialization of occupational practice. -- Forty counsellors were interviewed. Nineteen counsellors were from autonomous settings and twenty-one from heteronomous settings. Interviews consisted of open and close-ended questions and lasted approximately one hour. -- The findings indicate that counsellors' attitudes within bureaucratized settings are determined not only by the degree of bureaucratization within each organizational setting, but also by the length of time spent in the work unit, level of education, and the position held within the organization. The findings also indicate that specialization and standardization of occupational practice are positively correlated with bureaucratization. -- Differences by gender were found to be significant. Women in counselling were found to be marginalized. On all the dimensions measured, women were subordinate to men. Women were also over- represented in highly bureaucratized settings. Female counselors were more bureaucratically oriented than males, had spent less time in the organization than males, and were more likely to possess vocational as opposed to academic degrees. In contrast, males were over-represented in autonomous settings, displayed lower levels of bureaucratic orientation than females, had spent more time in the organization, and were more likely to possess advanced academic degrees. -- The evidence does not support the existence of bureaucratic- professional conflict, although the potential for this conflict exists to a greater degree in autonomous work units than in highly bureaucratized (heteronomous) work units. The research also points to the socialization aspect of education and the type of education undertaken by counsellors as being major factors in formulating attitudes towards bureaucracies and in determining the place of employment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5957
Item ID: 5957
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 117-123.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Counselors--Attitudes; Professional employees--Attitudes; Bureaucracy

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