Computers and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become, nowadays, part of the daily work environment of numerous enterprises and organizations. Social services organizations are concerned by those technological changes affecting various fields like, for instance, social help management, contact with public, communication between social workers, relationships with authorities. The integration of technologies in organizations generally raises many questions. Those questions concern worker’s use, perception, trust and appropriation of ICT. Our paper will focus on a recent empirical research about computerization in Belgian Public Social Action Services (CPAS) undertaken by the University of Namur. The central issue raised in this research regards the potential impact of ICT on the professional identity of the social workers, questioning a potential cultural shock between new visions of social work endorsed by ICT programs and patterns and the traditional ones at work amongst the social workers. Using identity theory, structural approach of computerization and empirical data, we will try to analyze this central issue following different steps. This issue is very critical when considering that professional identity has crucial impact regarding the way social workers operate and the relationships they have with public concerned.


Social Worker Public Authority Social Care Professional Identity Cultural Shock 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Véronique Laurent
    • 1
  1. 1.Cellule Interdisciplinaire de Technology AssessementUniversity of NamurBelgium

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