Case Management Systems and New Routines in Community Organisations
Financial Accountability & Management, 39(1), pp. 216-236
Case Management Systems and New Routines in Community Organisations, published by Craig Furneaux, Ogan Yigitbasioglu (QUT), and Sari Rossi (QUT), is a multiple-case study that examines the adoption of a case management system (CMS) across two community organisations in Australia using organizational routines as a theoretical lens. Both the adopters and the vendor were interviewed to explore how the CMS was instituted in the adopting organisations.
Many of the concerns or problems associated with a CMS as reported in the literature were not supported in this study. Although the two cases differed significantly in terms of size and resources, the findings show that the adoption of CMS led to new ostensive and performative routines around data collection and service delivery in both organisations. This had implications for accountability and organisational learning. In particular, better access to data improved visibility and reporting on the provision of services and subsequently supported fundraising.
This study also highlights some of the situational factors that facilitate or impede the transition to a CMS such as the critical role of the CMS administrator and the way the change is managed in adopting organisations. Overall, this study contributes to the discourse on CMS by providing some evidence to support a more nuanced view of CMS including as ‘systems of accountability’ or even a ‘necessity’ of the digital age rather than merely as ‘instruments of neoliberal policy’ and enablers of bureaucratisation of social work.