Date of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Stephanie Baker Collins


Jane Aronson



Committee Member

Chris Sinding



Neoliberalism and the new managerialism have become entrenched in Canadian social policy. This paper is an examination of how neoliberal philosophy and the new managerialism are embodied in case managers’ tools. The setting for this research is Veterans Affairs Canada. Presently, Veterans Affairs Canada is in the process of transforming policy and practice. Veterans Affairs Canada has implemented a managerial business model as the foundation of its transformation initiative.

This research examines how the ruling relations of the macro level have infiltrated the local practice of case managers. Institutional ethnography is utilized to examine the texts used by case managers. It is important to research the relationship between case managers’ tools and managerialism in order to understand impacts on the role, practice and discretion of case managers. Only by having a full understanding of the relationship between the underlying power structures of neoliberalism and managerialism can social workers fully appreciate the negative impacts to client service. Through this understanding, social workers can more effectively advocate for their clients and find ways to implement change.

McMaster University Library

Included in

Social Work Commons