Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Program Name/Specialization

Community, Policy, Planning and Organizations


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Cheryl-Anne Cait

Advisor Role

Committee Chair and Supervisor


This research explores how reflexive practices are shaped by organizational culture. For the purposes of this study reflexivity is defined as a self-critical approach that involves examining how knowledge is created, how one may be complicit in relations of knowledge and power, and the potential consequences for inequality and privilege (D’Cruz, Hemmingham, & Melendez, 2007, p. 86). Organizational culture is defined as the shared norms, beliefs, and expectations that often drive behavior and create the social milieu that shape the objectives of the work accomplished and communicate what is important within the organization (Hemmelgarn, Glisson, & James, 2006, p. 75). For this research, I used a qualitative comparative case study methodology. Clinical social workers from three different agencies were invited to participate in small group interviews. Social workers were interviewed about agency mission statements, treatment methods, scope of practice and supervision policies. Participants were also asked about their relationship with reflexivity and how the organizational culture at their agency shapes this practice. I analyzed the data through thematic analysis comparing thematic similarities and differences. The findings reveal the conditions of agencies that employ clinical social workers, the subordinate role of reflexivity in social work practice, an intersection between organizational culture and leadership, and fear in social work practice. This study emphasizes the need for future research to focus on how critical reflexivity is in modern social work practice, reflexivity as a tool in contemporary neuro-organizational culture, a new concept to describe human behavior and interaction in the workplace (Reisyan, 2016), and leadership in social work.

Convocation Year


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