The nature of social work research by Dutch universities of applied sciences: An overview

M. Ganzevles*, D. Andriessen, W. van Beest, M.R.F. Van Regenmortel, J. van Weeghel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The knowledge base for Social Work is strengthening. Underpinning of Social Work deriving from scientific research is necessary given the growing complexity of the work and its context. How this research should be conducted and to what type of outcomes it must lead, is part of an ongoing debate. In the Netherlands, practice-based research at Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) is a relative new approach. Social Work research groups at UAS assert to conduct practice-based research in order to contribute to knowledge and support the objectives of Social Work. The current study was carried out to obtain insight into the characteristics of this research approach. A sample of publications was analysed in terms of knowledge purpose, methodology, and level and type of participation. Results show a strong focus on producing descriptive knowledge and to a lesser extent on control knowledge, using primarily qualitative research methods, and with limited direct participation by stakeholders. In order to practice more what they preach the research can strengthen by doing more empirical research, by diversifying the research in terms of design and methods and increasing the level of participation of stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-61
JournalJournal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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