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C: Bureaucracy <<>> Empowerment <<>> Professional Judgment

At the basic practice level, bureaucratic structures develop to implement procedures. Within all but the smallest agencies, the range and volume of procedures require specialization in order for workers to have sufficient familiarity and understanding of a procedure area to permit adequate implementation of the applicable procedures. Efficient practice requires compartmentalization of roles and functions.

At the intermediate level, achieving expected outcomes depends, in part, on the creativity of workers and on their capacity to continuously invent. Compartmentalization of their behavior and actions is, at times, counterproductive. Empowerment to go outside the bureaucratic constraints is integral to the creative processes supporting continuous invention.

At the advanced practice level, empowerment expands to incorporate professional judgment. Familiarity with, understanding of, and adherence to best practice are expected. Workers may not base their practice on personal experience, beliefs, values, opinions, and idiosyncrasies. Rather, they need to base their practice on generally accepted theory and research, informed by their professional experience and that of professional colleagues.

How it works:

Bureaucratic compartmentalization enables workers to develop adequate familiarity with the extensive procedures regulating their practice area. To facilitate continuous invention, workers are empowered to practice beyond the compartmental limits when necessary to achieve expected outcomes for children. This empowerment is constrained and guided by best practice-based professional judgment.

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