Working together, learning together: the role of co-operative inquiry in the development of complex practice by teams of social workers

Mark Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This chapter provides an example of practice in one form of action research
- co-operative inquiry (Heron 1995; Heron and Reason 2000). It describes the process of and lessons that were learned from co-operative inquiries by two groups of social workers exploring the tensions between professional discretion and bureaucratic procedures in the implementation of a complex social policy in the United Kingdom. The chapter explores the reasons why this methodology was chosen, following misgivings about prior use of traditional qualitative research methodology. It is argued that co-operative inquiry facilitated ownership of learning by groups of social workers who were experiencing marginalisation within their organisation. This relieved their anxieties and
provided lessons for policy implementation that could, if replicated, reduce the deficit effect of the unreflective use of discretion which has proved so undermining in other areas of policy (Lipsky 1980).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013
EventPractitioner Research: realising its potential for improving social care services and practice -
Duration: 30 Apr 2013 → …

Conference

ConferencePractitioner Research: realising its potential for improving social care services and practice
Period30/04/13 → …

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    Baldwin, M. (2013). Working together, learning together: the role of co-operative inquiry in the development of complex practice by teams of social workers. Paper presented at Practitioner Research: realising its potential for improving social care services and practice , .