Using Causal Layered Analysis to Understand the Alliance between Social Workers with Their Professional Association

by Gilbert Fan& Joan N. W. Khng


The decline of professional associations due to the advent of new technologies and the expanded function of social service agencies to professionalize the social worker have impacted the level of alliance of professionals with their professional association. How aligned professionals regard themselves in relation to their professional association has implications for the challenges faced by such associations and as well as their possible futures. This article introduces how Casual Layered Analysis (CLA) can be applied to analyse and understand the level of alliance of social workers in Singapore with their professional association and the probable futures of the Association. This methodology employs an interpretative and critical approach to analyse the data to uncover layers of “truths” that are intended to help develop possible futures for the issue under study, as well as the action steps required to form that future. It allows in-depth insights into different ways of understanding underlying issues inherent in a phenomenon as well as proposing possible solutions, with adherence to methodological and scientific rigor. By taking the data through four intertwining layers of analysis, namely Litany, Systemic (Social Causes), Worldview and Myth or Metaphor, the research process promotes critical reflection and interpretation of data. Numerous underlying and concealed issues are revealed, in a way that cannot be accomplished using other mainstream research methods. (continue…)


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