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Evidence in action: a Thompsonian perspective on evidence-based decision-making in social work

Denvall, Verner LU (2006) In Working paper-serien
Abstract
Evidence-based practice presupposes evidence-based decision-making. In the debate it is argued that a social work fashioned after evidence should be more rational, less authoritarian and built on scientific knowledge, respect and ethics. Yet the empirical evidence that this idea works is weak. In fact the difficulties met during efforts to implement evidence could be a sound reaction. Indeed difficulties experienced could be a defensive organizational reaction to a new, disturbing technology. In this article James D. Thompson’s classical study Organizations in Action from 1967 is applied to evidence-based decision-making in social work. It shows to date that many problems have been given, at best, tenuous attention. It is argued that a... (More)
Evidence-based practice presupposes evidence-based decision-making. In the debate it is argued that a social work fashioned after evidence should be more rational, less authoritarian and built on scientific knowledge, respect and ethics. Yet the empirical evidence that this idea works is weak. In fact the difficulties met during efforts to implement evidence could be a sound reaction. Indeed difficulties experienced could be a defensive organizational reaction to a new, disturbing technology. In this article James D. Thompson’s classical study Organizations in Action from 1967 is applied to evidence-based decision-making in social work. It shows to date that many problems have been given, at best, tenuous attention. It is argued that a focus on evidence will raise ambiguity and complexity levels within organizations and that new professional specialists will emerge. Further, new constellations of power will appear, leading to a change of balance within the domains of social work. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
in
Working paper-serien
issue
2006:4
pages
17 pages
publisher
Lunds universitet, Socialhögskolan
ISSN
1650-8971
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6d2b143b-de78-48cb-bf14-03d55192e414 (old id 1453917)
date added to LUP
2009-08-04 14:08:15
date last changed
2016-08-30 16:07:15
@misc{6d2b143b-de78-48cb-bf14-03d55192e414,
  abstract     = {Evidence-based practice presupposes evidence-based decision-making. In the debate it is argued that a social work fashioned after evidence should be more rational, less authoritarian and built on scientific knowledge, respect and ethics. Yet the empirical evidence that this idea works is weak. In fact the difficulties met during efforts to implement evidence could be a sound reaction. Indeed difficulties experienced could be a defensive organizational reaction to a new, disturbing technology. In this article James D. Thompson’s classical study Organizations in Action from 1967 is applied to evidence-based decision-making in social work. It shows to date that many problems have been given, at best, tenuous attention. It is argued that a focus on evidence will raise ambiguity and complexity levels within organizations and that new professional specialists will emerge. Further, new constellations of power will appear, leading to a change of balance within the domains of social work.},
  author       = {Denvall, Verner},
  issn         = {1650-8971},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2006:4},
  pages        = {17},
  publisher    = {Lunds universitet, Socialhögskolan},
  series       = {Working paper-serien},
  title        = {Evidence in action: a Thompsonian perspective on evidence-based decision-making in social work},
  year         = {2006},
}