A1 Journal article (refereed)
Sosiaalityön hyveet : millaisia haasteita hyveiden mukainen toiminta sosiaalityössä kohtaa? (2021)
Virtues in social work : what factors challenge the actualization of employees' virtues?

Ylinen, T., Ruokolainen, M., Huhtala, M., & Juhila, K. (2021). Sosiaalityön hyveet : millaisia haasteita hyveiden mukainen toiminta sosiaalityössä kohtaa?. Psykologia, 56(1), 20-32.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Ylinen, Tyyne; Ruokolainen, Mervi; Huhtala, Mari; Juhila, Kirsi

Journal or series: Psykologia

ISSN: 0355-1067

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 56

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 20-32

Publisher: Suomen psykologinen seura

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Finnish

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Virtues are the characteristics that make an individual practice morally good actions. Consequently, an employee’s virtues are those characteristics that make the employee act morally in her/his occupation. In this study, we studied employee views of factors connected to the actualization of virtues in social work. In recent years, there has been a lot of debate about the deteriorating possibilities for social workers to do their work ethically; therefore, it is important to identify the factors that influence the actualization of virtues in social work. Enabling virtuous action may also have a positive influence on employees’ work related well-being and work performance. The study is based on qualitative interview data (N = 38) collected in spring 2016 from the social services of two cities in Finland. The study shows that, according to employees, the factors that challenge the actualization of virtues are; job strain (e.g., time pressure and financial constraints), factors involving the employee (e.g., exhaustion, personal problems), factors involving the clients (e.g., aggression, dishonesty) and factors associated to the work community (lack of support, conflicting instructions).

Keywords: social work; employees; social workers; professional ethics; ethicality; virtues; values (conceptions); work burden

Free keywords: employees; virtues; social work; ethics

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:33