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SOWK303 Communities and Organisations - Analysis and Theory

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Organisational and community theories, patterns and change and their application within community and social services in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Students will describe and analyse a social service organisation and a case study of community development practice.

Paper title Communities and Organisations - Analysis and Theory
Paper code SOWK303
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $929.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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SOWK 553, SOWX 303
Limited to
(i) May not be taken by students who have passed both (SOWK234 or SOWX234) and (SOWK235 or SOWX235). (ii) Non-BSW students may be admitted to this paper with approval from the Head of Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work.
This paper is designed for students who have been admitted into the Bachelor of Social Work programme.

Teaching staff

Coordinator and Lecturer: Dr Marissa Kaloga

Paper Structure
The paper is divided into two sections:

  • Social work practice at micro-, meso-, macro-levels; history and context
  • Organisational forms
  • Internal organisational environments
  • Organisational sectors
  • External environments
  • Power
Community Development
  • Introduction to community development - history and context
  • The basis of contemporary community
  • Community development settings
  • Community development as planned change
  • Skills for working with communities
  • Participatory democracy
Teaching Arrangements
There is one compulsory workshop for this paper; information about this is provided in the course books. Other teaching arrangements are by lecture and Blackboard participation.

Aimers, J. & Walker, P (2013) Community Development: insights for practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Dunmore Press.
Ozanne, E & Rose, D (2013) The organisational context of human service practice. Palgrave MacMillan, Melbourne.

Gilchrist & Taylor Policy Press (2016) Short Guide to Community Development, 2nd ed.

Course outline
The course outline is included in the course books.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successfully completing this paper students will be able to
  • Understand the basic dynamics and patterns of organisational and community relationships across cultural boundaries and the forces shaping contemporary patterns
  • Understand and critically evaluate the different major models of organisational and community change and their practical implications for working in the community
  • Identify and assess differing explanations of change in a variety of cultural and geographic settings
  • Analyse and evaluate community-based policy at all levels of decision making

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 09:00-15:50 9

Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 10-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 11-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 09:00-15:50 9