Supervision Models in Social Work: From Nature to Culture

2004.第11卷第1及2期(Vol. 11 Nos. 1 & 2).pp. 7–55

Supervision Models in Social Work: From Nature to Culture


Ming-Sum TSUI(徐明心)


This study examines the format, purpose, relationship, use of authority, and ideal of social work supervision in the cultural context of Hong Kong. A grounded theory approach was used to explore the experiences and views of local supervisors and supervisees, the participants in seven focus groups and forty in-depth interviews, to construct a cultural model within the local context of Hong Kong.

It was found that the format of supervision in Hong Kong is relatively loose. Written agendas and supervisory contracts are seldom used. Both supervisors and supervisees view successful client outcomes as the major purpose of supervision, but supervisors see the process as a rational and systematic tool for safeguarding the standard and quality of service, whereas supervisees hope that supervision will provide emotional support and foster teamwork.

The supervisory relationship is both personal and professional. Tension is reduced by the traditional Chinese cultural values of reciprocity: qing, yuan, and “face.” The use of supervisory authority reflects the political strategy of the British–Hong Kong government — “consensus by consultation and consent” — which was used to reduce conflict and gain acceptance. Supervisory practice in Hong Kong is a combination of, and compromise between, the North American concept, the British system, and the Chinese culture. Four major cultural themes were identified, namely time perspective, concept of space, value orientation, and attitudes. Implications for practice, research, and education were also discussed.


本研究檢視在香港文化裏,社會工作督導的形式、目標、關係、權力運用和理想方式,並運用紮根理論(Grounded Theory)及7個焦點小組和40個深入面談,探討本地督導者與被導者的經驗和看法,從而建構香港本土的文化模式。