Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1985

Volume 10 Issue 3

Original Research

Len Tierney

name here
Len Tierney

download full pdf


“Hands on”, “know the customer”, “stick to the knitting” – these are the key attributes of excellent organization; so is the message of a recent best selling text in management practice. Successful organizations specialize we are told. They do not produce “manufactures”, rather they produce particular manufactured products; hamburgers or microcomputers. When we turn to the human services, however, we note an increasing tendency to view tham as services, suigeneris, evoking a sense that we have pinned down a slice of reality about which we can think generically for purposes of policy and service provision. This view can be maintained only be asserting that there are no important differences in people's situations, by the use of bulk terms such as “children”, and “families” and by the simultaneous assertion that the important policy issues are organizational and managerial. T hat there are concepts that cut across categories is a reminder that there are, indeed, similarities between human beings and that we share a common culture but it is the real differences between target populations which provide anchorage for differential policies, programs and practice, rather than the similarities alone.

This PDF has been produced for your convenience. Always refer to the live site for the Version of Record.