Are you a scholar or a seeker? A new typology in the research-to-practice continuum

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Abstract

This paper presents a new typology of research users from a human services perspective, based on key findings from research undertaken in a statutory child welfare organisation. As a former Manager of a ‘Research to Practice Program’ in Community Services in New South Wales, I was intrigued to know how and why staff accessed and used research to inform their practice on a day-to-day basis. My research specifically addresses a gap in the literature on research utilisation practices in a child welfare context. A mixed methods approach was employed to capture differing views and perceptions of research utilisation within the case study organisation. There were multiple observations from directors, managers, practitioners and policy-makers. Methods included document analysis, focus groups, manager surveys and semi-structured interviews.The paper outlines key findings of this research including the determinants across three environments or ‘spheres of influence’ (individual, workplace environment and organisation/agency) that enabled research utilisation. It specifically explores the development of this new ‘typology of research user’ and the key purposes or roles that practitioners and policy-makers have in engaging with and using research in their practice. The typology characterises four categories of research users: the Scholar, the Seeker, the Coach and the Assumer. These research findings can be used to assist with educational programs and organisational capability, and are transferrable to other human services environments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event2014 Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 09 Jul 201412 Jul 2014
https://web.archive.org/web/20140408044911/http://www.swsd2014.org:80/call-for-abstracts/ (Conference call for abstracts)

Conference

Conference2014 Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development
Abbreviated titlePromoting Social and Economic Equality: Responses from Social Work and Social Development
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period09/07/1412/07/14
OtherWherever you work – in practice, policy, research, education or social development – we are keen to ensure that your interests are responded to in the development of our Conference Program. The theme is ‘Promoting Social and Economic Equality: Responses from Social Work and Social Development’. Our focus is on the intersection of the many factors that promote equality for all people within our diverse contexts around the world.

This Conference will provide opportunities for you to talk with colleagues about your interests in health, disability, mental health, child and family welfare, gender, human rights, migration and refugees and other current issues. Given the Australian context, we encourage a focus on Indigenous voices from around the world, as well as consumer voices, throughout the entire Conference Program. We will come together to share achievements and ideas from clinical and statutory practitioners, from researchers and educators, and from policy makers. We are keen to ensure that the broad interests of participants are clearly accommodated in the Conference sessions.
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  • Impacts

    Thesis impact

    Cate Thomas (Creator)

    Impact: Social Impact

    Cite this

    Thomas, C. (2014). Are you a scholar or a seeker? A new typology in the research-to-practice continuum. Abstract from 2014 Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, Melbourne, Australia.