This study explored how social workers defined, produced, used, developed and disseminated knowledge within their everyday practice. A mixed-methods approach utilised Q-factor/Centroid (Exploratory) Factor Analysis (CFA) (n=37) and post-Q-sort semi-structured interviews to identify latent variables relating to perceptions and practices concerning ‘knowledge work’. Results suggest that the type of practice social workers were engaged in, the context and nature of the practice situation itself and expectations of employing organisations had a significant influence on practitioner knowledge and the way research findings were utilised. Conclusions suggest that the range of knowledge currently seen to be required in order to inform social worker practice is highly influenced by systemic factors, and the profession needs to reconsider its stance regarding the forms and types of knowledge deemed to be acceptable in and for practice. The findings have significant implications for both qualifying education and post-qualifying training and development. Original data is available for inspection upon written request to the author.
- practice-based knowledge
- mixed methods