A Method for Investigating Practitioner Use of Theory in Practice

Jerry Floersch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This article describes a methodology for studying the relationship between scientific theory (technical-rational or textbook) and theory generated in practice (knowledge-inaction or practical). It identifies the written and oral practice narrative as empirical sites for studying the use of technicalrational theory in practice. The strengths and limitations of studying the written narrative alone are discussed and a method for juxtaposing the oral and written narrative of the same practice event is described. By respecting both forms of knowledge as productive powers, identifying their empirical referents, and investigating in vivo practice events, it is argued that practice research will remain open to discovering its dual or holistic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-177
Number of pages17
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • critical realism
  • knowledge-inaction
  • practice ethnography
  • practice narrative
  • reflective practitioner
  • technical-rational


Dive into the research topics of 'A Method for Investigating Practitioner Use of Theory in Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this