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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 develop a social work leadership framework, and use knowledge on communities and organisations to design an initiative to address a social issue.

    About this paper

    Paper title Communities and Organisations - Analysis and Theory
    Subject Social Work
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    SOWK 553, SOWX 303
    Limited to
    (i) May not be taken by students who have passed both (SOWK 234 or SOWX 234) and (SOWK 235 or SOWX 235). (ii) Non-BSW students may be admitted to this paper with approval from the Head of the Social and Community Work Programme.
    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:

    1. Choose your Player - In this 3 week section students will explore leadership theory and diverse leadership approaches, then apply them to social work practice when they design their own leaership framework.
    2. Create your World - The remaining 10 weeks are organised into a gamified approach where students complete weekly activities to identify a social issue in a community and create an organisation to address it. Topics covered include:
      • Systems thinking models in social work
      • Community concepts and theory
      • Strengths based approaches
      • Organisational forms and sectors
      • Internal and external environments
      • Organisational analysis
      • Power and participation
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    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.


    Students will choose ONE of the following leadership books:

    Brown,B. (2018). Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Random House.

    Spiller, C., Barclay-Kerr, H., & Panoho, J. (2015). Wayfinding leadership: Ground-breaking wisdom for developing leaders. Huia Publishers.

    Greenleaf, R.K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.

    Edmonstone, J. (2019). Systems leadership in health and social care. Routledge.

    OR a leadership book of the student's choice (with lecturer approval).

    The other required readings will be provided.

    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


    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 10-13, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 11-13, 15-22


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