Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Production relations for old people's homes

Knapp, Martin Richard John (1980) Production relations for old people's homes. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94465) (KAR id:94465)


Old people's homes pursue, either explicitly or implicitly, a number of goals or objectives. These may be specified at both an "intermediate" stage (in terms of beds or places provided, and services rendered) and at a "final" stage (in terms of improvements in the well-being of residents, and benefits to residents' significant others). Successful care may thus be described as care which achieved these objectives, if only partially, and the degree of success defines the intermediate and final outputs of the home. Three groups of factors will determine the degree of success or the outputs: the resource inputs (labour and capital), the personal characteristics and experiences of residents before, during and after entry, and the social environment and caring milieu of the home. These last two groups comprise the non-resource inputs into care. This "production of welfare" perspective on care is described and its relationship with the gerontology, social work and social policy literatures examined in the first half of the thesis. The perspective is also used as a structure to discuss some of the post-war developments in residential care for the elderly, although a comprehensive historical review is not attempted. The second half of the thesis uses the production of welfare approach to define the concept of "efficiency" in residential care, and to examine it from five different perspectives. Four of these perspectives or modes of analysis are applied using quantitative evidence for a number of samples of homes. Cost and production functions for intermediate outputs are estimated and their policy potential evaluated. The other two quantitative analyses focus on staff levels and ratios, and on staff turnover and vacancies. The final chapter examines the usefulness of cost effectiveness and cost benefit techniques for policy development and the pursuit of efficiency in the personal social services.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94465
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Old people's homes, care homes, residential care
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV59 Institutional care/home care
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2023 14:40 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 14:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.