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Professionalism encounters Evidence-based Practice (EBP): What effects can EBP have on knowledge use and learning in professional practice?
Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6784-0133
2011 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today it is common to talk about “lean organizations”, where focus lays on cost efficiency and resource allocation. In professional work, e.g. in healthcare and social services the trend is referred to as New Public Management (NPM), involving considerable structural changes and an inevitable shift towards a more quantitatively oriented mode of decision making. Especially the social care is under the loop for changes; striving to create a practice, measurable, knowledgeable and with the ability to demonstrate the efficiency of its methods and efforts; referred to as EBP. With an exclusive focus on task performance the value of workers´ ability to conceptualize problems and solutions and engage creatively with families in their historical and social context is undermined. The rules constituting the arguments in practical reasoning are becoming more and more structured. Related to theories of how professionals develop abstractions to create powerful knowledge systems the introduction of EBP could in fact have a negative effect on knowledge use and learning. More stringent methods may lessen the room for discretion, in turn circumscribing the professional knowledge and with this making professional expertize needless in executing the work. 

The aim with this paper is to explore possible consequences of introducing EBP in professional practice (social work). The paper is divided into two parts. While the first part touches key concepts and theories of relevance, the following will analyze EBP’s possible effects on knowledge use and learning from aspects of significance; involving different research traditions, implementation strategies and situational aspects for discretion and learning. The paper concludes in a discussion of consequences following with the growing transparency and rationalization-movement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 1-2 p.
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77935OAI: diva2:529972
Kunskap, profession och expertis Nationella nätverket för professionsstudier, 28-29 september 2011, Växjö
Available from: 2012-05-31 Created: 2012-05-31 Last updated: 2015-06-02

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Nordström (Avby), Gunilla
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HELIX Vinn Excellence CentreEducation and SociologyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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