Unraveling "tacit knowledge": What social workers do and why they do it

Anat Zeira, Aaron Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Many scholars have claimed that social work practice relies on tacit knowledge. However, tacit knowledge or "practice wisdom" cannot be critically examined in and of itself. In this article, we hope to make explicit the interventions and outcomes resulting from social workers' tacit knowledge. We used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to map interventions in relation to outcomes. Data for the study were derived from a sample of 69 social workers in six family agencies who treated 141 clients within the framework of Systematic Planned Practice. The results demonstrate the viability of practice wisdom for generating testable interventive hypotheses and the usefulness of combining methodologies in practice research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)103-123
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000


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