Not bad but dangerous! Hvordan påvirker institusjonelle vilkår skjønnsutøvelsen i sosialarbeidernes praksis? En kvalitativ metasyntese
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- Helse- og sosialfag 
The public sector has been exposed to major reorganizations due to New Public Management, dominated by a neo-liberal ideology based on market-inspired models. This type of thinking has established new relationships between actors and the system. This means that social services are based on contract management, performance management, efficiency and quality. Welfare State's desire to increase the quality of services has been channeled through a set of guidelines that shows the tendency to control the social workers' professional autonomy and decision-making. Government interest in social workers' practice has increased because of various reasons. Foremost, due to the Medias efforts in taking up cases of abuse of power and unsatisfied users of social services. This has led to a decline in confidence in professions from the government and society. As a consequence, the welfare state assumed the role of repairing this decline by ensuring the quality of social services. Because the quality is directly related to the exercise of discretion, the attention is focused on the control of the clinical practice. This study represents an attempt to identify the institutional conditions that affect social workers' practice, and the effects they have on exercise of discretion. That is to contribute to a deeper and more shaded understanding of the social workers' practice and the challenges they have to face. The study is based on two theoretical perspectives: Dean Mitchell's analysis of government and Michael Lipsky's theory of street-level bureaucracy. The methodological approach is a meta-synthesis conducted on the basis of nine research papers. The results show that the neo-liberal mentality that dominates the western society forms the framework for the practice and leads to downscaling of professional autonomy. At the same time, the study shows that social workers are able to rebalance their autonomy through their expertise and collegial approach. Moreover, the study underlines a shift in the balance of power from professionals to users and the organization that does not necessarily lead to reduced scope for discretion, but assumes that the judgment can be seen as degrees of freedom that can be considered in each case.