ERIC Number: ED196736
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Applied Social Discipline Research or Social Policy Research: The Emergence of a Professional Paradigm in Social Research.
van de Vall, Mark; Bolas, Cheryl
This paper compares and contrasts two types of social research--policy-oriented research (practical and/or applied social discipline research) and academic social science research (theory-oriented experimental research). Data are based on 120 projects of social policy research conducted in The Netherlands in the areas of industrial and labor relations, regional and urban planning, and social welfare and public health. Some of the reports were conducted by social science researchers, some by social policy researchers. To analyze each of the 120 research projects, an evaluation instrument was devised which combined a theoretical-methodological analysis of the research report, a semistructured interview with the social researcher, and a similar interview with the policymaker responsible for transforming the research results into policy measures. Findings indicated that basic theoretical and methodological recommendations were more likely to be operationalized than higher level and more abstract concepts and that researchers from inside an organization were more successful in balancing theoretical and organizational aspects of their reports than were external researchers. The conclusion is that the basic difference between the scholarly paradigm of social science research and the professional paradigm of social policy research is that social scientists prefer explanatory power to policy impact and policy researchers favor utilization over explanation. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (San Francisco, CA, 1977).