Social Work


Spring 5-2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Robin R. Whitebird


The focus of this banded dissertation is the examination of the ramifications of productivity-driven outpatient mental health management systems from the perspectives of mental health professionals. The author takes a deeper look at this understudied phenomenon to uncover the ramifications on mental health professionals and the clients they serve. This banded dissertation is comprised of three products, two of which are article and one is a poster presented at a peer-reviewed conference.

The first article posits that using a systems theory approach to management to ensure job satisfaction, adherence to ethical standards, and quality of client care would be a more effective approach than productivity-driven management systems. Such a shift is warranted to improve overall functioning and effectiveness of state mental health systems. Productivity requirements are additional pressures on professionals whose work with vulnerable populations already place them at risk for burnout.

The second article is a qualitative research study that gathered insight into the perspectives of mental health professionals’ views of productivity-driven management systems. Twenty mental health professionals participated in interviews and thematic analysis was conducted to identify recurring themes related to job satisfaction and burnout, ethical implications, and service delivery within productivity-driven environments of care. Outcomes indicate an overall theme of dissatisfaction with productivity-driven management systems.

The final piece of this banded dissertation is a poster that the author presented at a peer reviewed conference, Minnesota’s 2019 National Association of Social Work conference at Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The poster highlighted preliminary findings of the qualitative research study of 12 of the 20 total participants. The preliminary findings were consistent with the final analysis related to ethical implications and job satisfaction. The overall feeling of discontent with the use of minimum billing requirements are perceived to have a negative impact on ethical performance and job satisfaction according to the findings depicted on the poster presentation.

This banded dissertation serves as a starting point for further exploration of the ramifications of productivity-driven management systems in outpatient mental health. The findings demonstrate the need for ongoing research and discovery of improvement in mental health management systems for the welfare of the providers, the clients, agencies, and the mental health system.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

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