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Mellan löften om särart och krav på evidens: En studie av kunskap och kunskapssyn i socialt inriktade ideella, privata och offentliga organisationer
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Between the Promise of Specificity and the Demand for Evidence –

A study of knowledge and the approach to knowledge in socially oriented non-profit, private and public sector organizations

In the social work field it is possible to identify two parallel processes in time. On the one hand a qualitative developmental process―even towards a form of standardization―where central concepts are academisation, professionalization, scientifically produced knowledge, expertise and evidence based methods. Simultaneously, there is a drive to create the conditions for increased diversity, where hopes are especially being pinned on the non-profit sector. In spite of representations and expectations concerning the non-profit sector and its so-called specificity, however, much of existing research lacks a comparative perspective, i.e., studies where non-profit organizations are related to comparable activities in the private and public sector.

The aim of the study―with special focus on issues concerning evidence based knowledge in social work―is to compare and analyse whether and in that case how employee conceptions differ between the sectors, and whether and in what way non-profit employees and their activities can be said to fulfil the expectations of contributing to increased diversity. Data is from a questionnaire directed to about 1300 social work employees.

The results show a greater interest in research and more marked efforts at professionalization in the public sector, while above all in the non-profit sector there was skepticism about science paired with reservations about work carried out in a professional way. In the non-profit, but also in the private sector, issues of ethics, views of humanity and values were paid greater attention. Also stressed here was the importance of creating relationships, the unique human encounter, genuine commitment, and human kindness.  However, there was significant uniformity across all sectors in the use of methods, where three dominated: solution focused measures, network support/therapy, and psychosocial work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete, Stockholms universitet , 2013. , 219 p.
Rapport i socialt arbete, ISSN 0281-6288 ; 142
Keyword [en]
social work, academisation, professionalization, scientifically produced knowledge, expertise, evidence based practice, increased diversity, specificity, comparative perspective, non-profit, private, public sector, questionnaire
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88032ISBN: 978-91-7447-659-0OAI: diva2:610269
Public defence
2013-04-19, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveavägen 160, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, 2005-1097
Available from: 2013-03-26 Created: 2013-03-03 Last updated: 2013-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Hammare, Ulf
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