The nature of social work research by Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences: an overview

Authors Martine Ganzevles, Daan Andriessen, Wilke van Beest, Jaap van Weeghel, Tine Van Regenmortel
Published in Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Publication date 1 January 2020
Research groups Research Competence
Type Article


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

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Year and volume 29 1
Key words Social work research, practice-based research, social work theory, body of knowledge
Digital Object Identifier 10.18352/jsi.616
Page range 41-61

Martine Ganzevles