In Search of a Research Strategy: Evaluation of an Ethics Program for Social Professionals Using Elements of the Most Significant Change Approach

  • Sabrina Keinemans Zuyd University of Applied Sciences http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7057-6572
  • Mariӫl Kanne HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht
  • Ed De Jonge HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht
Keywords: ethics, professionalization, moral case deliberation, ethics program, moral reflection, ethics work, most significant change approach, evaluation research

Abstract

In this article, we describe a study on the impact of an ethics program aimed at strengthening the ethical agency of 15 social workers of three welfare organizations. The goal of the study was to make an inventory of the impact of the program, and to evaluate the relevance of this impact with the help of several stakeholders. The most significant change (MSC) approach was used as a research strategy, though some changes to the approach were made with a view to our research goal. We explain the MSC approach and how we used it in our study design. Further, we describe the research process, answering the question whether our adaptation of the MSC was helpful to inventory the impact of our ethics program and the evaluation of its relevance. The implications of MSC's focus on "most significant" changes and the need for a thorough feedback of the results of the evaluation process in the participating organizations are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Sabrina Keinemans, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences

Dr. Sabrina KEINEMANS is professor of applied sciences at Zuyd Hogeschool. Her research program focuses on precariousness and the politico-ethical nature of social work, using predominantly qualitative research strategies rooted in hermeneutical/phenomenological tradition. Sabrina is a member of the research network Critical Ethics of Care.

Mariӫl Kanne, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Dr. Mariӫl KANNE is lecturer in ethics in the master advanced nursing practice and post doc researcher in the Innovation of Social Work research group at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Her work focuses on the moral dimension of caring practices in social as well as health care.

Ed De Jonge, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Dr. Ed DE JONGE is associate professor professionalization of social work at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. His work focuses on practice-based research and curriculum development. His main interests are (the intersections of) professionalism, ethics, and complexity.

Published
2020-01-28
How to Cite
Keinemans, S., Kanne, M., & De Jonge, E. (2020). In Search of a Research Strategy: Evaluation of an Ethics Program for Social Professionals Using Elements of the Most Significant Change Approach. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-21.1.3282