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Mellan kunskap och handling: Socialsekreterares kunskapsanvändning i utredningsarbetet
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Welfare.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study is about how social workers use knowledge in their investigation work. The study includes 16 social workers documentation of their knowledge use in 21 investigations in three personal social services in Västerbotten, Sweden. The three research-questions that the study aims to answer are: what knowledge do they use, how do they use their knowledge and on what grounds do they choose these knowledge’s?

The studies empirical findings are a result of a systematic documentation instrument SPP (Systematic Planned Practice). The instrument consists of seven different forms that together correspond to the whole investigation process, from the first meeting with the client to a complete investigation. The SPP-instrument was designed by Professor Aaron Rosen from Washington University in St. Louis, USA. The SPP-instrument was used in this study as tool to gather information on what knowledge social workers use in the investigation work. The seven forms that the instrument consists of were sent to the social workers electronically. In each step of the investigation work the social workers filled out each form and send them back to the researcher for analyse.

The results from the study shows that social workers use a variety of different types of knowledge as a base for their decisions in the investigation work. In the majority of these knowledge’s the social workers relates them to actual client situations. When the social workers describe how they use their knowledge the result shows that they use different strategies to express their use of knowledge in relation to specific decisions in the investigation work. How they use these knowledge’s seams not to correspond with what kind of knowledge they have used. The social workers claims that their choice of knowledge as roughly has to do with two different set of circumstances: 1) circumstances that limits their choice of knowledge and 2) circumstances that they intellectual know that they can influence ones they reflect upon their choices, but not during the actual choice of knowledge.

All together the study shows that the social workers use of knowledge is partly a hidden process that they have trouble to express in writing. However this do not mean that they are short of relevant knowledge for their profession. Instead it shows that social workers use of knowledge is highly situational and that their use of knowledge is a cognitive process that is difficult to describe or conceptualise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Socialt arbete , 2006. , 236 p.
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 54
Keyword [en]
Knowledge use, Use of knowledge, Problem solving process, Investigation, Assessment, Decision making, Social work, Social worker
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-933ISBN: 91-7264-220-3OAI: diva2:145101
Public defence
2006-12-08, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Available from: 2006-11-16 Created: 2006-11-16Bibliographically approved

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