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

Denvall, Verner LU (2008) In European Journal of Social Work 11(1). p.29-42
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
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
European Journal of Social Work
volume
11
issue
1
pages
29 - 42
publisher
Routledge Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:40749133035
ISSN
1369-1457
DOI
10.1080/13691450801959382
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
53820537-d859-4eca-ae36-ac6feeda9f68 (old id 533400)
alternative location
http://www.soch.lu.se/images/Socialhogskolan/WP2006_4.pdf
date added to LUP
2007-09-13 16:16:20
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:03:31
@article{53820537-d859-4eca-ae36-ac6feeda9f68,
  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         = {1369-1457},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {29--42},
  publisher    = {Routledge Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {European Journal of Social Work},
  title        = {Evidence in action: a Thompsonian perspective on evidence-based decision-making in social work},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691450801959382},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2008},
}